Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A Writer's Journey: Now What? by T.W. Harvey, Author

Guest Post 5
November 12, 1994, 10:00P.M
Shaker Heights, Ohio

Now What?

          Now, this was an interesting day, a Saturday in mid-November in blustery, gray Cleveland, Ohio. Thankfully, Ohio State beat Indiana this afternoon, 32 – 17, but I didn’t watch it. You see I wanted to continue my work with the Western Reserve Historical Society of Cleveland about the letters in the crates. By the way, things had gotten interesting with Paula as we had continued to see each other, but she wasn’t interested in hanging out at the library of the Historical Society. So, I had gone down there by myself as I had on previous Saturdays.
I had met the curator of the Archives, Mabel Hendershott, on my first visit a couple of weeks ago when I first mentioned that I had found the letters and wanted to know how to protect them. Mrs. Hendershott provided the wisdom that I did not have. That’s when I got the lecture.
Scribbling on a legal pad as quickly as I could, she told me the first thing I was to do was to get a box of surgical gloves for handling the letters. Next, I had to go to the Burrows Bros. stationery store to get a box of acid-free file folders and acid-free storage boxes. Oh, and I wasn’t to forget labels for the file folders that I could run through my printer to identify each letter. Then the next stop was Russo’s market to purchase a box of black polyethylene trash bags in which to keep the box, keeping light out. She then asked me the most important question, “Just what are you going to do with the letters?”     
I told her once again about the “Lincoln letter” and that I had a feeling there might be a book in those crates. But that meant I would have to transcribe them into WordPerfect files in some sort of order, most likely chronologically by author, to see what the story really was.
Well, today, I reported to Mrs. Hendershott that I had done everything that she had assigned and had even bought two boxes of 3½” by 3½” floppy disks (well, they weren’t really floppy; they were plastic, but everyone calls them floppy) and a case to store them. So, now I have 24 disks on which to store the letters, using my word processing system called WordPerfect. This let me type up the letters and store them on disks so I could retrieve them if necessary and not have to type it over again like I would have had to do with a typewriter.
Quite relieved, she seemed to approve of my approach and very nicely asked if she could be of any more assistance. I politely said that I didn’t think so, thanked her for the education, and quietly walked out into the brisk November air, the gray skies of Cleveland suggesting snow. As I drove back to the condo at Shaker Square this afternoon, I felt really good, but wondering if there was really a book in those two crates, just waiting to be published.
A couple of hours ago, I got off the phone with Paula, having told her about my afternoon, and she asked, matter-of-factly, “Do you know what you are getting yourself into?”
“Well, no,” I had responded, “but I gotta find out. You want to go to a movie tomorrow afternoon. It’s supposed to be pretty good. About the Civil War.”
“What’s it called?” she asked.
Gettysburg.” I replied, It’s playing out at Richmond Mall. I’ll pick you up at 1.”
“No, thanks. I’ll pass. I’m gonna play tennis at the Chagrin Valley courts.”
“It’s gonna be cold.”
“No, it’s indoors, dummy!”
With that, I said to myself, “Well, nobody’s called me ‘dummy’ for quite a while, if ever. The hell with her. I’m going to see Gettysburg tomorrow.” Just so you know, she was kidding with the “dummy” comment.
          The condo is a mess, especially the small bedroom I am using for a study. I’ll clean it up tonight. Wonder what that movie is gonna be about. The battle of Gettysburg, but that’s all I know.
          Supper came and went around 7 this evening. Then I gave some order to the study, putting the acid-free boxes right by my chair in front of my PC, labels for the file folders on my worktable on the right. Floppy disks in their cases right beside the computer. I’m ready to begin this adventure.
          About an hour ago, I tired of the sit-coms and thought I would watch something else. Standing by the TV, I clicked around on the dial. Landing on the new cable channel, Turner Classic Movies, I said out loud, “Damn, it’s Midway with Heston, Glenn Ford, and Fonda.” ‘Night all.

About Dr. Harvey
Dr. T.W. Harvey is a retired Associate Professor of Finance at Ashland (Ohio) University. He has published two books, Quality Value Banking: Effective Management Systems that Increase Earnings, Lower Costs, and Provide Competitive Customer Service, with Janet L. Gray, and The Banking Revolution: Positioning Your Bank in The New Financial Services Marketplace. Further, he had articles published in both practitioner and academic journals.

Dr. Harvey has always been fascinated by the history of the United States and was grateful to have the opportunity to study it in detail while researching and writing Seeing the Elephant: One Man’s Return to the Horrors of the Civil War.

He was born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He graduated from Hillsdale College with a BA in English, from Case Western Reserve University with an MBA in Finance, from Cleveland State University with a doctorate in management and strategy. He and his wife, Paula, reside in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

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