Monday, April 8, 2013
To me "research" is just an eight letter word. Where I come from that's twice as ugly as a four letter word. Our different perspectives on it may explain why you went to Stanford University and I went to Ed's Junior College and Latte Stand. I have library cards for libraries in some of the most obscure cities and towns in the United States of America. The reason is that, until I discovered I was offending librarians all over this great land by telling them the last library card I had was for the Cascade, Idaho Public Library in 1955 (to which I could go any and all Saturday mornings to check out donated books nobody else wanted) it was a part of my standard presentation. Those offended librarians started sending me cards. The Cascade library was housed in the back of the fire station where Dewey Decimal had never set foot. My mother, a champion of community betterment coerced - or should I say forced - her children to check out at least one book a week. Because of this, I discovered that the Edgar Rice Borroughs' Tarzan smoked cigarettes and spoke like the English Lord he was. I preferred the movie Tarzan, whose vocabulary consisted of "Me Tarzan, you Jane. Then he took off with Cheetah. Forever traumatized, I swore off libraries and research and literacy. Later I discovered another way to research is to "live it" and began digging up many of my facts from my own experience and, more importantly, the experiences of others. As I've grown older, and I have grown older, I've discovered I need to write about things I haven't experienced and therefore must change my ways. How fortunate I discovered this need at a time when I can send my computer to the library and don't have to get my skinny butt out of my chair. But your point, Mr. Price, is well taken. If you don't get the details right, the readers will catch you and they will slay you.