"Can" B. Worth
Epilogue - Part Twelve
“As you wish”… to “point out”: I, the tale teller, has STRAYED with “baby on board”? Corpulent in your soft chair, reading between the story lines and/or being… “plastic leather sheltered” within that slippery chair… FINDS YOU passing directive… to I… about I… telling you… this tale? Well… I will just have to take you somewhere else; a higher ground for viewing, for “looking over”, for… “finding direction”.
“Dead Can”; “Carl”, did …what I did… at the old Tyrolean’s for …nearly half a century. “Weekly” at least and more often “as needed” meaning both a “rare book emergency” OR the more probable “JUST GET AWAY FROM IT FOR A MINUTE”. Could the story be true that … the old Tyrolean troubled “Carl” to show him OUT due to the Tyrolean’s need to depart for a medical appointment, how he watched “Carl” settle down on the Tyrolean’s front step. How he departed with him sitting there… to return THREE HOURS LATER… to find “Carl” STILL SITTING THERE and …whereupon the Tyrolean’s return, “Carl” followed him back inside and “lingered” “through supper”?
Impudent miss-reader… how many hours does one need to spend in the old Tyrolean’s rare book room… and qualify that by having that one be “desperate” and “CRAZY”… behind the fortress of “rare books” and THEIR OWN constructed fortress of rare books within that larger sprawl? HOW MANY HOURS?
Now…: I have taken one on a very standard …privateer’s sailing ship cannonade broadside… of a dealer to dealer visit INCLUDING a wholesome fact gathering “click bang” Dead Can chit-chat AND molesting the rare bookie in thee by buying the here and there “obviously good”. And finalizing that visit by I telling the old Tyrolean “I’m done”. So let me state clearly that AS I STOOD, WHERE I stood… and giving benefit to doubt… as I SLEUTHED AND PURCHASED… IS THE SAME as how Dead Can visited the “rare book room” TOO. The “b of d” is that Dead Can did NOT purchase, in the broad sweep of the hand, the way just I did. He, even with the “not buy”, DID cover (“see”) as I recorded… I SAW… I promise and… particularly as he was “here” “a lot”. This all is defined as “HE KNEW THE STOCK”… to the smallest iota.
This is ALL enhanced by reminding that all this rare bookishness …moves ponderously slow, so, for example, that candy box of maps was probably inspected by Dead Can weekly for over a quarter century… WITH HIM NEVER BUYING ONE… as reported by the old Tyrolean. THIS IS THE PICTURE I PAINTED and THIS WAS Dead Can’s RARE BOOK WORLD shown IN THAT PAINTED PICTURE. I… am most likely the only person to have touched the box of maps OTHER THAN Dead Can EVER. From Dead Can’s vantage, there is NO DIFFERENCE between looking in that candy box OR sitting on the Tyrolean’s front steps for “a mere” three hours. IT; this all, IS Dead Can’s IT; his fortress within the fortress sanctuary of “rare books”
I, to no surprise, was going to have to take a little longer to actually clamber up, over and into Dead Can’s personal rare book fortress. As I paid and left the old Tyrolean’s now barren rare book room, I regurgitated and chewed that gathering of click-bangs I had garnered and… although gaining perspective, did not yet “see clearly”. Am I going to have to peddle the darker journey to Dead Can’s rare book mania? Does not the complex weave so far recorded suggest that a darker hiding hole for one was fabricated WITHIN that weave… to be found and then… found to be that one’s pot of gold? Or darkness plunge?
A double edge vantage for myself began the final journey. I had started with the my most traditional, professional and commercial intentions, acted those well and …captured the estate (office contents). Contentment and glory-to-the-dollar was the directive. Shortly, and from within that muck of the estate contents, personal and professional curiosity and intrigue bothered this first ratio. Exploring that footpath took me away from the safety of that “move the product” commercial execution. I, myself, found out about and willfully began traveling to the curiosity and intrigue …bothers. The old Tyrolean, between his gobbled cheese and shrimp, bullet listed… footpath after footpath. These safe paths lead to his allusion through remembered tall tales (the three hours on the front steps) of a biblio fantasy creature roaming the local rare book community. How much of those unsubstantiated rumor (“Really? Three hours?”) was my gut telling me was true? Too much. And I wanted to believe. Too. It was the double edge that allowed ME to a step beyond.
I AM a dealer’s view. I am a collector’s manager. I am the certificate of value. “Can” B. Worth is a line in sand of principle. I… may mark that line, stand on either side of that line or …step back and forth over it. What I’d never included in this powerful dealer view… was denoting that someone… well, well, well upon the rare book footpaths… would NOT care a hoot for… “Can” B. Worth. As a dealer… I could actually see that when I …saw that… and… “never seen THAT before”; that this is the closest I came to “choking to death on my own barf” in this escapade. Quickly my curiosity and intrigue bothers utilized the bulleted list and pulled me back from that cliff fall. I embraced from my gut that the three hour steps tall tale was not only true and not only equal to the “looked in the candy box every week for a quarter century” tall tale but was also a “good” and a “right thing to do.” I, by gut, chose to FOLLOW Dead Can’s vantage of rare books… as he created it.