Last night July 24, Erik forwarded me the PDF files the printing plant now has that they will soon turn into a finished book. These files included the photo layout. It’s the first time I have seen everything from Page One To Page 382, This is what printers would call in J. P. Knapp’s day and after The Galleys. I just kept scrolling through the files with a look of shock. I know I will be getting another big shock in a week or two when the actual first physical copy of the book itself turns up at my door.
My first gander at the files last night occurred, as I spoke with Erik on the phone and he pointed out a few more surprises for his old man. For example, the business address for Elm & McKinley Books is located in the James A. Farley building in NYC. Jim Farley & my grandfather Jack Spooner were closer than brothers from probably before 1920 till the end in 1963. They could even pass physically for brothers with no problems. Google Farley and be prepared for a shock or two. But that’s how this project has been from the gitgo one shocker after the next, with a few blown fuses along the way.
If I was a rich man, I’d say Erik is trying to kill his old man! Thing is I am a rich man, in ways that can’t be measured in dollars and cents. I know I have more sense than dollars and that’s just fine with me. I have a family that has supported my efforts on this project for 10 years, even when they would have to roll their eyes as I babbled on in the early days about each new early Knapp discovery I would find.
As I looked through the photo pages last night and saw that self described “old chromo printer”, J . P. Knapp’s smiling face, from both the 1890s and 1930s looking me in the eye, I would give half of what he had in just one of his bank accounts (trust me that’s enough to get the Sphynx to talk), just to hear what the Sage Of Currituck would think of my writing efforts about his family history, the events that caused this book to be and also the technology that Erik employed as the book’s “SOUL” designer from cover to cover to make it a reality.