Curiosity: forget “Cherchez la femme” (Look for the woman.) “Cherchez l’histoire.” (Look for the story.)
Happy holidays! They were, in fact, for me.
The Saturday before Christmas, as I was busy skewering shrimp around chorizo for a benefit event we were hosting for Friends of Chamber Music, I got a call from Laura Martin, manager of the Whistle Stop Shop at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. For whatever reason, she had been unable to make internet contact with CreateSpace, so she telephoned. When I answered the ring, she said, “CreateSpace?”
“No,” I replied, “Diana Harris.”
“Ah, the author,” she declared with great satisfaction, “I would like twelve copies of your book because we are going to have a special exhibition from April through December on the railroad during the Civil War.”
“Yes, I can sell you the books myself–and have them drop-shipped directly from the publisher. And…might you be interested in a talk about Herman Haupt at the museum during this special exhibition? I am going to present it at the regular monthly meeting of the Pacific North West Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society here in Portland in Frebruary.”
“Herman Haupt of the truss bridges?” she asked, “We have one of his trusses here at the Museum. It’s not assembled or on display, but it is stored here.”
“The very same!” was, of course, my answer. She promised to forward my draft presentation to the person in charge of programming. I very nearly stopped cooking to wash my hands and write up the order, but I can sometimes keep my priorities straight. I finished preparing for the party and wrote to Ms.Martin the next day.
The books were delivered to the Museum on Dec. 27.