Life just doesn't get any better…

What is this gem I have found?!

on February 16, 2013

(This needs a sub-headline because it takes me a while to get to the point.)

Henry Valentine Miller (1891-1980)  American Writer and Painter

Best known writings are  “Tropic of Cancer,” “Tropic of Capricorn,” and “Black Spring.”  His works were banned from the U.S. until 1964 because of lewd content.

Henry Miller

Yesterday Frogger had a friend over.  Among the parade of teenagers that run in and out of the house, this kid is one of my favorites.  He’s a reader.  He’s cerebral.  A 16 year-old that reads Neitzsche!  He’s the kind of kid that likes to blurt out politically incorrect statements — with a gleamy, little side-eye to see the reaction.  He’ll say just what’s on his mind and damned the consequences.  Dark rebel, that one is.

Frogger likes everybody, but he worried if this particular friend would offend me and I’d throw him to the curb. He says, “Mom, he just says whatever is on his mind, don’t get offended.”   On the contrary!

Friend walks in once and says, “Hey, your house is not as messy as it usually is.”  I could have been offended by that statement, but I was impressed that someone actually noticed that I cleaned up.  Score one for friend.  I offered him some rice that I was making for dinner.  He says, “That was really good, but I didn’t like the bean in it.”  You found a bean it your rice?  One bean?  Weird because I didn’t put beans in it.  One random bean fell from the Heavens and ended up in the pot.  Funny.

So you get the gist of the ongoing, odd conversations that we have with this kid.  (Wow, it’s taking me a while to get to the point of things this morning.)

When this kid comes over, I always like to show him my new “finds” from the used bookstores I frequent.  My kids will listen when I blather on about a cool book I found, but it is similar to a hand-patting, “Oh, that’s interesting, Mom.”  Moving on… Point is, this kid likes my collection of books and I like to ask him what he’s currently reading.  I’ll lend him a book or two from my “special” bookshelf of all my favorites because I know that he will appreciate and take care with them.

Last night, he found one of my copies of Dante, “The Inferno,” and asked me if I had another printing because he wasn’t crazy about version he found.  Which lead me on a hunt to find my other copy of  “The Inferno,” which is where I found my gem.

There was a biography on my shelf that I had never gotten around to reading, so naturally, I got distracted from my original mission to check it out.  Inside the cover of the book was a handwritten letter from Henry Miller to a Dr. Glassell, who is the founder of Glassell School of Art and part of the Museum District here in Houston.

Now I am really curious.  Dr. Glassell is an important figure here in Houston, and Mr. Miller is an important literary figure; how in the world did this letter get into this book and into my grubby little hands?

Henry Miller letter

I looked online and found letters similar to this one valued at $5,000!!  Holy crap!  My first thought was, “Nobody touch it!!”  My fun project today is to see if I can figure out how to authenticate it.

The last line reads, “I don’t observe any of the damn holidays nor do I vote ever.”   Charming.

If y’all have any feedback or information about something like this, let me know.

10 responses to “What is this gem I have found?!

  1. JakeCake says:

    Swag swag swag swag swag swag swag swag swag swag swag swag swag swag

  2. Intriguing. I hope it’s real. Art discoveries have been made in the most unlikely places.

  3. roweeee says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I really enjoyed this post. I’m a real op shop junkie and have found all sorts of treasures but nothing this exciting. Good luck and keep us all posted,

  4. Ron says:

    See if you can get Miller’s signature authenticated. People who sell things like that would know who does that in your area. Perhaps the collectible seller can give you an estimate of the letter’s worth. They may even be able to authenticate it. BTW, I saw some of his signatures at:

  5. Ron says:

    I’m just a guy with a poetic reply…

    Linda found H. Miller’s name,
    He’s a writer with a lot of fame.
    If she can sell his signature,
    She’ll sing a lovely overture.
    And bless the book from whence it came.

    Compliments of Humorous Interludes
    © 2013 Ronald J. Yarosh

  6. Lilia says:

    Ha! I like what you’re writing. I haven’t followed anyone yet online and you might be the first. Thumbs up!!!! 🙂

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