This month we have the opportunity to review the following three catalogues. To be fair, we’ll arrange these reviews in alphabetical order by the dealer firm name.
Books on the West (Catalogue 802, Gene W. Baade.) A modest yet substantial catalogue that presents itself more as an old-fashioned priced list than a glossily detailed dealer’s catalogue. However, within this 10 page long Xeroxed catalogue there are surely some treasures available to collectors of Western Americana. In keeping with its unpretentious format there is a charming and folksy, almost conversational introduction to the catalogue, presumably prepared by the firm’s owner:
“Dear friends and fellow travelers in the world of books and the West. One of the more pleasant things about being a dealer in books on the Old West is to hear from so many of my customers who have interesting family or other ties with that bygone era in the West. Years ago I sold a cheap paperback copy of Cecil Alter’s biography of Jim Bridger to a woman whose great grandfather and great grandmother (maybe there’s another “great” that should be in there) had gotten married near the end of a wagon train journey to California. Bridger was their best man! She wanted the book for her grandson so that he might better appreciate that little piece of family history. Stories and connections like this abound and I’m grateful to hear them from you. My own great grandfather came over from Germany in early 1867 and joined up with the U.S. Army. He spent the next two and one-half years helping to protect the track layers of the Union Pacific Railroad, from Grand Island, Nebraska, to Ogden, Utah. I had hoped to find him at the Golden Spike ceremony on May 10, 1869. However, he was apparently on garrison duty that day at Camp Douglas. Probably peeling potatoes.
What a thrill it is to read well-written history! Many of you have it coursing through your own blood, running down from old campfires and pitched battles! May you find a drop or two of your grandparents’ blood in this list.”