Got my bill for ABAA dues this week – $775 smackers.
It is widely agreed that the primary benefit of ABAA membership is the ability to participate in ABAA-sanctioned book fairs – Boston, NY, and LA/SF over here, and ILAB events in Europe.
The secondary benefit – all the colleagues who have become good friends over the years – derives from the first. I met most of these fine folks (you all) at book fairs, many of which were ABAA-sponsored events.
My question is this: Why am I still paying full dues when, for the past two years (since the NY show in March 2020), the ABAA has been unable to provide full services? Which is to say, why am I still paying full dues to an organization that can only provide partial benefits?
Covid isn’t your fault, ABAA, and this is not a criticism of ABAA staff or hard-working volunteers. But the plodding inability of this organization to recognize WHY it exists is getting to be a drag. Especially when it can no longer provide the service which is its main reason for existence.
Diversity & Inclusion are laudable, ABAA. But that’s not why you exist.
I think every member should get a $500 rebate from the ABAA for failure to deliver full services during the past 2 years.
On a cheerier note, hats off to the good old Flamingos for having the courage to promote a show where others feared to tread. Okay, the Boxborough Ephemera Show isn’t New York or London. But, unlike those two mega-events, this one actually took place. A healthy supply of exhibitors drew a good crowd. Masks were mandatory, and everyone was happy.
Even Rex, I think.
And I found a few things to buy. Here’s my fave…
Manuscript. Lot of Three Manuscript Items Pertaining to Samuel Vernon and His Newport, RI, Slaving Operation.
1. Receipt from Mary Minot, 1778, for purchase of a Negro for $21 from Samuel Vernon, Boston, 1778.
2. Note from Samuel Vernon, in his hand, pertaining to cargo aboard the Vernon ship “Royal Charlotte.”
3. 12 pp. manuscript record titled “Brigg Venus’s People Acct. May, 1774.” The “Venus” was a Vernon ship. This book records purchases by her crew, including “Jacob Fowler, Indian.” Fowler was an important figure who attended Eleazar Wheelock’s “Indian School,” and was brother-in-law to Samson Occum. According to the tally in this book, Fowler owed something over 26 pounds, but he “run away.”