One of our nicest customers, Marcia Preston, called me in the spring of last year and invited me to give the 2014 Ron Ravneberg Lecture to the Aldus Society of Columbus, Ohio. This very active group of book lovers founded their Society in 2000 and it has grown to a very significant size. As with any trip, I planned several stops along the way. My wife, Millie, and I left on a Wednesday morning and kept to my strict personal guideline of never driving more than five hours in a day. That placed us in Washington, Pennsylvania early Wednesday afternoon and gave us time to tour the LeMoyne House and learn about its history and role in the Underground Railroad.
The next morning, under threat of snow, we were off to Columbus to meet Ed Hoffman, an ABAA dealer in Columbus and President of the Aldus Society. Ed took us to lunch in the historic district of Columbus, gave us a tour of the town, bought us ice cream at Jeni’s Ice Cream (which was unknown to us Easterners), and then took us to the home of the collector who had asked me to speak. We spent a delightful few hours looking at books and then returned to the hotel to rest up for the night’s speech. Here I am waxing lyrically about Oak Knoll.
The crowd of 60 folks seemed to find it all entertaining, but maybe that had something to do with the many wine bottles available for one and all before the speech began!
The first stop on our way back was Erie, Pennsylvania (remember my five hour rule!) on the way to Buffalo, New York to see a collection of books. The snow storm on Thursday night did not stand in our way as these northern folks know how to clean up quickly. We saw the collection at Ron Cozzi’s Old Editions Bookshop & Gallery, a bookstore with lots of books to view and well worth a trip to visit.
While in Buffalo, I also got to visit my high school for the first time in almost 50 years. Good old Amherst High stands solid as a rock.
Next stop: Ithaca, New York, where yes, it snowed again, but not enough to keep us from finding the delightful hotel La Tourelle where we sampled Finger Lake wines with the owner and author Wally Wiggins and his son. Wally even gave Millie one of the books he had authored and added an inscription, which made her blush.
The last stop was the result of a spur-of-the-moment thought that it would be really nice to see Henry and Pearl Morris (Bird & Bull Press). We called them up and arranged for a lunch in Newton, Pennsylvania the next day. Henry recently sold us his collection of books as they had moved into a retirement community. Two months of retirement living was enough to convince them to move back into their old home on Jericho Mountain. This was unexpected news to us, but pretty logical if you know Henry and Pearl. We reminisced about old times and I told him that he appeared four times in my presentation to the Aldus Society! Here is one picture showing us together during the APHA award ceremony in 2008 where Henry and I each got an award.
Finally we returned to Delaware where we discovered the most snow on the ground of any of the places we had visited.