Curiosity: forget “Cherchez la femme” (Look for the woman.) “Cherchez l’histoire.” (Look for the story.)
Yesterday evening I went to my second PNWC-NRHS (that stands for Pacific North West Chapter-National Railway Historical Society) meeting. Last month, Gary and I met Al, the program chairman, during the break and loaned him a copy of Reflections of a Civil War Locomotive Engineer. Because of car trouble, Al didn’t make it to last night’s meeting.
However, as you might expect, I had brought along another copy of Reflections. During the break I introduced myself to the man who runs the Chapter’s lending library at Portland’s Union Station and offered it, autographed, as an addition to the library. He accepted. As we talked, another man approached, pointed to Reflections, and said “I’m reading that book and it’s good!”
His name is Alfred and he, too, produces books about railroads. He found my book at Annie Bloom’s books, where I consigned three copies in late September. They called on Nov. 11 to say they were cutting me a check because all three copies sold–and would I please bring in three more. It was a great thrill to meet a total stranger who had bought one of my books!
It was also very gratifying that he is a train buff. Now more than half-way through the book, he assured me that he has not yet noted errors or, if you will, sour notes in my descriptions of how steam engines work. Whew!