Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Snatch This Pebble From My Hand
So Cookie finds himself, and The Husband, in Los Angeles this week on a vacation/research trip that is equal parts both. The husband humors Cookie's genealogy obsession, and Cookie in turn honors the Husband's desire to walk around gardens, famous and otherwise. Together, we are a very easy going pair.
So Today, Cookie will trudge through the Huntington Library and Gardens, because the husband gave eight hours of effort towards Cookie's research on Wednesday. It's a fair trade.
Yesterday, we were guests of the Los Angeles Public Library pouring over a private collection. The visit was arranged months ago.
This leads me to mention an odd thing about the LA Public Library, Central Division. They have a rare books and manuscript division. But you wouldn't know it if you asked the librarians there.
My first visit to the department came in 1990s, about five years after the big fire. I wanted to access the department because it held several one of a kind items I needed to look at for a project I was working on. The man I was directed to, "Tom" actually refused to acknowledge that the items were in the collection. "There is nothing in the collection that are not already in the authors published works. I persisted - I wanted to see his notes, because as we all know, the notes hold the key to the methodology.
When I arrived at the library for the visit back then, I arrived, and I asked for directions to the rare book and manuscript division.
"I can't tell you where it is."
I explained that I had an appointment. The person asked to see my ID and left the desk, made a call, came back and said, please wait here. A man came and I was escorted to the department. Score one for Cookie.
In 2012, we made the trip here again, and on a visit to the library, I asked again, preface it by saying "I don't have an appointment, and I know that one is needed, but isn't the rare books division around here?"
You would have thought that I had just asked to see Satan. Her eyes got large as saucers and she defensively said "I can't tell you that."
"You can't go there." I explained I had no such intention. I again asked if the division was nearby, and again I got a "You can't go there." I again explained that I just wanted to get my bearings. "I can't tell you."
And in 2013, we played this game AGAIN.
"I can't tell you that information."
This time I came prepared: "It's on the Third Floor of the Goodhue Building, isn't it?"
She was stunned. Shocked, even! "I can't confirm that."
Seriously? Even though its on your web site, you can't confirm it. Really?
At least in Kung Fu, the kid got a pebble for his trouble.