Ooops! First weekend in June. Load the car, head for Concord, New Hampshire. Stop for mugup
and what will prove to be one of the more significant purchases of the trip.
Arrive at the Everett Arena and hang out with my colleagues
until the doors open on the 574th annual New Hampshire Antiquarian Bookfair,
ably organized by Laura Parr (née Barr, née Parr).
And watch as the crowd of visitors beats the doors down in their eagerness for books.
Try to stay awake until 4PM Sunday at which time I pack up and head for home, stopping only to have a martini and order takeout from Golden Dragon, as I have done on this weekend every year since Hector was a pup. Coulda done it in my sleep. I think a few of my colleagues did. I was tired, the crowd was tired, the stock seemed tired too.
The best thing I bought wasn’t even bought at the fair. It was delivered from Allentown, having been scouted up a few weeks ago by King of the Road, Bill Hutchison. Five albumen photos of the 1901 America’s Cup trials taken by Brooklyn photographer Frederick A. Walter, with his blindstamp in the lower corner of each photo. The heats featured Constitution, Independence, and ultimate victor, Columbia. One of these images has turned up on the internet, but most seem to be unknown. Prints measure 7 ½ x 9 inches and are in very good condition. They’ll make some collector happy. The lot $1250
So, the show was a snooze.
Laura Parr (maiden name Parr, married a guy named Barr, then took her maiden name back) said she thinks that show has enough gittyup to last for another three or four years, then, who knows? Perhaps, some June in 2015, a bunch of us will find ourselves in the parking lot of the Everett Arena shooting the breeze and waiting for the doors to open, even though no show has been scheduled for that year.
But now for the exciting news.
Today was the last day our control-freak neighbor could legally challenge our plans for the new structure at 77 Langsford St. He has not done so, which means we can go ahead and demolish the old structure, then build our beautiful new gallery and shop. The ground floor will house Flatrocks Gallery, but now the new space will also be the home of my daughter’s florist business, Celia’s Flower Studio
Art and flowers! We think it’s going to be a hit. The books and maps about local history will be discreetly placed around the gallery, with overflow stock in our clean, dry basement. Meanwhile, on the second floor there will be three studio spaces available for rent at reasonable rates to local artists.
The guy who lives behind us has held this project up for 16 months with threats of legal action. In his need to micro-manage our project he’s managed to forget that it was his tree that destroyed our building. But finally we’ve come up with a compromise solution that even he can find no objection to, and so we move forward at last. We’re excited about the whole project – about Anne Marie and pal Cynthia starting the gallery up again, about our daughter Celia working with us, about our son Brooks building the structure, and about once again having a gathering place for our artists and friends in the village of Lanesville and all of Gloucester and Cape Ann. But mostly I’m excited about moving out of the kids’ old bedroom where I’ve been stuck since February 2010, when our neighbor’s tree destroyed my workplace.
This coming week I’m up in Cape Breton trying to put the finishing touches on the proposal for my book about John Ledyard. I’ll have a full report next week, and probably some visually interesting tweets and Facebook entries along the way. So, if you haven’t already, “like” and “follow” Ten Pound Island.