In view of my impending move to France at the end of this month, I am frantically sorting through a lifetime's worth of old papers, trying to perform a rather radical triage and to get what remains down to the dimensions of a single box or two to be sent after me by freight. I've been discovering some real gems, and posting photos of them to a private social media site. There has been a tremendous outcry among my friends against the proposal to throw some of this stuff away. Fine, I thought. I'll sell it. I'll have an auction here at jehsmith.com.
The PayPal donation button to the right has lapsed into near total desuetude over the past few weeks. Apparently people still want physical objects for their money. Well, here's one: a 1987 report on walruses, "a truly fascinating animal that belongs in the pinniped (fin-feet) classification along with seals and sea lions and it lives in the northern Pacific, northern Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans." Send me a bid, by private message, or in the comments section, within the next week (or until I have a bid that's sufficiently high), and if the price is right I will send you the report by post. If you think it is scandalous that I would part with such a thing, then you, as the highest bidder, may elect to hold it in trust for me until I, uh, need it again.
We'll see how well this works. I have many other equally precious papers with which I might follow this up, including a 1989 Sacramento County arrest warrant for yours truly, and envelopes stuffed with old love letters, in order to help offset the exorbitant cost of this intercontinental move.
All joking and stuntsmanship aside, it strikes me as I go through my papers that I actually have a fairly rich archive, documenting not just my own curious peregrinations and many false starts, but also a good slice of life in the late-20th and early-21st-century West. And you could own a part of it!