TSHA 2018

The Texas State Historical Association annual meeting was in San Marcos, Texas this year. The new convention center was very nice. Easy access for dealer set up. The staff was helpful as always. The only complaint I heard was that the tables were not the usual 6 foo by 3 foot tables, but were two six foot by 1.5 foot tables under the table cloths. Fortunately this did not seem to present any issues for setting up book displays.

I have found over the years that it is better to have more room for display of items, as most people will not take time to dig through things, especially at a conference where they hit the rare book room in between sessions. So I was happy I had six tables. Even so I had trouble fitting it all in, since things expand to fill the available space.

My only disappointment was that there did not seem to be as many people from San Antonio as I had hoped, despite the relative closeness. I brought a number of things relating to the Alamo City, including Pioneer Flour plates, but there were not many takers for S. A. material. Ollie Crinkelmeyer gave the talk at the Book Lovers Breakfast. Despite the early hour and the cost it was a sell out. Ollie did a bang-up job as expected, relating the path he took to becoming one of the best Texana dealers in the state, despite his late start after a full career in the oil patch. His booth was as usual filled with gems and serious collectors were crowded around.

Things that had interest included maps, land promotionals, Jose Posada broadsides, Indian Wars, town promotional booklets, ranching, including the King Ranch, Dobie, Hertzog, and early Texas items.

I had a number of new items, many of which sold briskly, as did a few old friends who had been with me for a while.

Recently I have been issuing an e-mail list of items I am bringing to the show. This proved to be worthwhile as I had orders for quite a few things before the show opened. If you would like a copy of my lists let me know. There are still interesting things that have not sold, including a contemporary letter written to Peg Leg Ward from Washington on the Brazos, criticizing the terms of the Annexation proposal.

Another thing that proved popular in San Marcos was the hotel’s nightly manager’s reception with free drinks and snacks. Cheers!

For some reason I was at the back of the room and away from the popular silent auction. So you had to be a dedicated collector to seek me out. Fortunately enough people found me to make for one of my most successful shows. Plus I got to visit with my old friend Ken Huddleston who was across the way.

I understand that next year’s meeting will be in Corpus Christi. You should come and join the fun!

Maine Antique Digest Visits Round Top and Me

Last Fall, the Original Round Top Antiques Fair celebrated its 50th Anniversary. I have been exhibiting there for only a few years, but one of the original dealers is still at the show 50 years later. The well known antique publication Maine Antique Digest (MAD) visited the show and stopped by my booth. The resulting article just showed up in my mailbox. Thanks MAD!

Here is the Kansas ranching photograph they features from my booth

Susan Franks who ably runs the Show put on a party for the dealers with live music and dancing in the aisles

The Winter Antiques Show is January 26-27, 2018. Tickets are on sale at www.RoundTopAntiques.com Come and see us.

Our booth will have Texas and Western maps, books, including Dobie, Haley and Hertzog, photographs, documents, art and antiques.

Here are some of the sort of things I may bring

HOUSTON BOOK SHOW Featuring Rare, Antiquarian and Collectible Books, Ephemera, Prints, Photographs, Postcards & Maps MAY 19-20, 2018

Please join us for the 2018 Houston Book Show. The Texas Booksellers Association is sponsoring the show, as an exciting addition to its Austin and North Texas Shows, beginning in May 2018. We invite all interested parties to participate in what we expect to become a premier event on the bookselling calendar.
We are working with The Printing Museum of Houston, which has sponsored the annual Houston Book Fair at the Museum for the last 14 years. Proceeds from ticket sales for this show will go to benefit The Printing Museum, a non-profit organization. See the website http://printingmuseum.org/ for more information.
The facility for the 2018 show is the spacious Arabia Shrine Center, 10510 Harwin Dr., Houston, Texas. We are very pleased to secure this space. It features over 16,000 square feet of well-lit exhibit space and ample free parking. It is conveniently located in West Houston near the intersection of Beltway 8 and the Westpark Tollway and easily accessible from I-10 and US-59 (I-69).

For more information see the Texas Booksellers Association Web Site http://bookfair.us/houston

To date the book dealers who are confirmed include the following:

1. 12th Street Books Luke Bilberry, 827 West 12th St., Austin, Texas 78701. ABAA / ILAB / TxBA
Antiquarian, literary first editions, scholarly books, fine press, books by Texas writers.
2. Bob Lakin Books & Collectables Bob Lakin, Stephanie Jones, Bryan Young P.O. Box 186, Chatfield, Texas 75105. TxBA
Children’s Illustrated, Modern Fiction, Mystery, Signed Books, Juvenile series books, Literature, Vintage horror.
3. Crinkstuff Ollie Crinkelmeyer, Sandi Crinkelmeyer, 10109 Talleyran Dr., Austin, Texas 78750. TxBA
Rare Texas Books, Documents, Photos, Maps, Currency, etc.
4. First Folio Dennis Melhouse, 1206 Brentwood, Paris, Tennessee 38242. ABAA / ILAB / TxBA
Fine bindings, illustrated, rare books.
5. Good Books in the Woods. Jay Rohfritch, 25915 Oak Ridge Drive, Spring, Texas 77380. TxBA
History, Modern First Editions
6. Langdon Manor Books. Adam Schachter, 1800 St. James Place, Suite 105, Houston, Texas 77056. ABAA / ILAB / TxBA
American Social Movements, American Personal Narratives, Outsider Books, Photo Albums
7. Mac Donnell Rare Books. Kevin Mac Donnell, 9307 Glenlake Drive, Austin, Texas 78730. ABAA / ILAB / TxBA
Mark Twain, 19th & 20th century American & English literary first editions and manuscripts.
8. Michael Laird Rare Books. Michael Laird, 335 W. Pecan St., Lockhart, Texas 78644. ABAA / ILAB / TxBA
Documents, Early printed books, ephemera, fine bindings, Illustrated Books, Law, literary archives, manuscripts, photographs, prints, Renaissance books, Texana, Victorian books.
9. Octavaye Wendy Ossoinig, Karl Ossoinig, Fort Worth, Texas. TxBA
Contemporary design bindings, decorative volumes, Restoration services of antiquarian books and paper, custom protective enclosures.
10. Schroeder’s Book Haven Bert Schroeder, 104 Michigan Ave., League City, Texas 77573. TxBA
Texana, with good selections in History, Military, Art, NASA / Space & Literature.
11. The Book Collector. Michael Utt. 2901 6th Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76110. ABAA / ILAB / TxBA
Literature, Anthropology, Chess, Americana and works on Voyages of Exploration.
12. Whiting Books. Chuck Whiting, P.O. Box 596, Fulshear, Texas 77441. TxBA / IOBA
http://www.facebook.com/whitingbooks http://twitter.com/whitingbooks.com
Fiction, Nonfiction, Art, Sports, Texana, Military
13. William Allison Books. William Allison, 6219 Longmont Dr., Houston, Texas 77057. ABAA / ILAB / TxBA
Western Americana, Texana, Ranching, Cowboys, Indians, Outlaws, Wild West Shows, Texas and Western Fiction, J. Frank Dobie, Tom Lea, Carl Hertzog, J. Evetts Haley, Larry McMurtry, Documents, Maps and Letters.

Examples of books I will be bringing include:

A. B. Guthrie, a 20th Century Fox

A. B. Guthrie the western writer known for his novels Big Sky and the Pulitzer Prize winning The Way West also wrote for the movies. For example, Guthrie was credited for the screenplay for the 1953 Paramount film Shane based on the novel by the same name by Jack Schaefer.


Guthrie was nominated for an Academy Award for this screen play. Guthrie also wrote the screenplay for the 1955 Burt Lancaster film The Kentuckian. This movie is an adaptation of the novel The Gabriel Horn by Felix Holt.

Guthrie is not known, however, for writing the screenplays for any of his own books. When I was preparing for the recent Museum of Printing History Book Fair, I was surprised to see a letter from Guthrie on the letterhead of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

20th Cen Fox

Musical aside: Yes, I am a child of the 60s and so the mere mention of this motion picture studio’s name causes the Doors song of the same name to play in my head. Thanks Jim Morrison!

Does this happen to anyone else?

Anyway, back to the Guthrie letter.


In the April 1957 letter Guthrie responds to a fan letter asking about his next book. I can relate to this fan, as I hate to have to wait for a favorite author to finish her next book (come on Louise Penny, write faster!) Guthrie’s response is that he is in Hollywood (see the letterhead) and working on the screenplay for his novel These Thousand Hills, which was published in 1956. While this book was released as a film in 1959 (two years after the date of this letter), Guthrie is not credited with the screen play, which is by the Englishman Alfred Hayes.

Of course, under the somewhat arcane (at least to me) rules of screenwriting, it is unclear if any of Guthrie’s attempts at a script may have made it into the final movie, or whether he suffered from Charlie Kaufman-like difficulties in crafting an Adaptation. But it is interesting to see he was asked to take a shot at it first, and that he was apparently unsuccessful, despite his past success in adapting the works of other authors.

To me this letter is an unexpected pleasure, giving an interesting side-light on Guthrie’s Hollywood career.

Ghost Town and Gold!

According to Wikipedia, the California ghost town of Volcano was so-named because of the shape of the valley, which early miners erroneously thought was caused by a volcano.


I became interested in this former gold mining center as I was writing up the description of a Wells Fargo document in my collection.

Wells Fargo

Here is my description:

[Volcano, California] Wells, Fargo & Co. Express Receipt. San Francisco, California: Towne & Bacon Print. July 17, 1859. One page engraved express receipt.
For a shipment from Volcano, California of one sealed package valued at $1,500 and to be delivered to the banking department with the proceeds to be returned to Volcano. Today Volcano is a ghost town, but in the gold mining days it was a boom town. The town, in Amador County, California, is named for its setting in a bowl-shaped valley which early miners thought was caused by a volcano. The town dates back to the late 1850’s and was originally nicknamed “Crater City”. It is said that in 1849 one miner took out 8 thousand dollars’ worth of gold in a few days. Another got 28 pounds in a single pocket. In 1851 a post office was established and by April 1852 there were 300 houses, and by 1853 there were 11 stores, 6 hotels, 3 bakeries, and 3 saloons. Hydraulic operations began in 1855 and by 1867 most of the mining operations were idle. George A. Macomber, the consignor was a senior member of the firm of Macomber Bros. He came across the plains in 1850 with his brothers. For many years they operated mines in Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador counties. In Amador County they practically established their right to be known as the fathers of hydraulic mining in California.

To me this document has so much going for it in terms of California local history: gold mining, shipments of gold via the iconic Wells Fargo Express, (does any one else think of a John Wayne film like War Wagon?) and of course, what is now a ghost town with the colorful, if erroneous name of Volcano. This is why I love researching these items to see the back story. Thanks to the interwires for making so much information easily available!

Museum of Printing History

The Museum of Printing History is a small jewel of a museum in Houston. It is also the host of an annual Book Fair every November. This year’s Fair was well attended and featured free book appraisals, guest speakers and – of course – books for sale!

MPH vols 2013
It all works thanks to the volunteers.

There were many beautiful books of all types:

MPH WBA 2013

MPH Graham 2013

MPH 7 2013

MPH 4 2013

MPH Doug 2013

MPH Hutchison 2013

MPH Whit

Not to mention hand-made items from the Houston Book Arts Guild:

Mph book arts 2013

New Mexico

Last week it was so hot in Houston one of my very conservative friends allowed “Al Gore might be right.” That is hot! So our thoughts turn to going to cooler places, like New Mexico. Here are a few photos from past trips.
Blue DoorClouds 1White Cross 1One way

We are looking forward to our trip in a few more weeks. Lots of shows coming up in August that we plan to attend and hope for some good book and art finds.

When you go, don’t by-pass Albuquerque in your haste to get to Santa Fe and Taos. Old Town is worth a visit and there are still some good book dealers as well.

We also got our opera tickets for The Marriage of Figaro. The opera house is in such a great setting it is worth a visit even if you are not into the opera. And we novice opera buff love the English translations in the seat backs.

Bookish New York: Grolier Club

When you visit New York City one place worth a visit is the Grolier Club.

Grolier club

Grolier club 2

The object of the Grolier Club (to quote from its Constitution) is “to foster the study, collecting, and appreciation of books and works on paper, their art, history, production, and commerce. It shall pursue this mission through the maintenance of a library devoted to all aspects of the book and graphic arts and especially bibliography; through the occasional publication of books designed to illustrate, promote and encourage the book and graphic arts; through exhibitions and educational programs for its members and the general public; and through the maintenance of a Club building for the safekeeping of its property, and otherwise suitable for the purposes of the Club.”

Its book exhibitions make it a great stop.

Here are some pictures from our visit in 2010.

Book exhibit 3
Book exhibit
Book exhibit 2

Currently it features Gardening Books and Count Guglielmo Libri, who if like me you don’t know , was a mathematician, Book Collector, Antiquarian Bookseller, Bibliographer and a forger and book thief! Sounds like it is worth seeing.

Mouse River

Mouse River

This plain little booklet is a rare item regarding North Dakota cattle raising. One of the Merrill Aristocrats. Rated by some as the hardest of the Aristocrats to find. If you see one grab it!

Here is my description of it:

Warren, C. H. Mouse River Cattle Raising. Chicago: Poole Bros. Printing for the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Co. N.d. (Circa 1886). Yellow wraps. Map of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway on the rear wrapper. 12 pp.
Herd 1683: “Scarce.” A Merrill Aristocrat. World Cat lists eight copies. “Deals with the pioneer history and conditions of the cattle industry in the Red River and Mouse River regions of North Dakota from 1870.” — Adams. Cover title: “Mouse River North Dakota.” Adams dates it to 1885, but the text refers to a report on the public lands in 1886. “An excessively rare item. … one of the hardest of all Merrill Aristocrats to locate.” — Swinford. Provides detailed advice to the prospective emigrant on “Mouse River Cattle Raising” and “How to get a Free Farm in North Dakota,” as well as statistical information on population, resources, climate, railroads, the melting away of public lands, etc. The Mouse River region is in the north-central part of North Dakota, and this pamphlet was likely partly financed by the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway, which had just completed a rail line into that area. A frank but enthusiastic discussion, culled from a variety of western newspapers, of the economic prospects and suitability for cattle raising, of the Mouse River region and North Dakota in general. The author writes: “Cattle-raising has passed the experimental stage in the Mouse river country and, for that matter, all through North Dakota. It would seem almost incredible to stockmen in the ‘corn belt’ to be told that cattle and horses are grown and fattened on the Mouse river on hay alone, but such is the fact.” “An extremely rare North Dakota promotional pamphlet, and rarity of the cattle industry in North Dakota, this is only the second copy we have handled in twenty-five years.” — Reese.