Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jim Causey and Bill Blackbeard-Part 3

Jim Causey's biographical letter to Randal Everts continues:

     In the early sixties, I was fortunate enough to transfer to my company's aerospace division in Newport Beach, which permitted me to move from the Garden Grove smog belt to Laguna Beach, only a stone's throw away from work. (My wife and I both grew up in beach towns and love the ocean.) The house we bought had a little basement apartment, and Bill stayed with us for a few months. I remember him telling me what a great opportunity this was to do some serious writing.

     Bill's fiction output during this period was desultory, but his collecting mania intensified, if such a thing was possible. Soon he had the place filled floor to ceiling with moldering pulps. Tons of them. When I berated him for a magazine junkie, Bill looked bemused.

     "These are an investment," he said loftily. "These idiot booksellers don't realize the true value of their inventories."

     Alas, he marched to a different drummer. He left us a few months later, and we continued to correspond for a time, and I remember meeting him and his bride, Barbara, at a Forrie Ackerman benefit dinner a few years ago. Anyway, Bill finally established his great pulp museum and more power to him. His recent book, Sherlock Holmes in America, was a Literary Guild selection a couple of years ago and he must have gotten a rattling good price for it. There is obviously some kind of moral here about doing your own thing. [Sherlock Holmes in America was published in 1981, thus dating Causey's letter to sometime in the early to mid 1980s.]

Conclusion in the next entry.

Sherlock Holmes in America by Bill Blackbeard (1981)
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

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