Last weekend I was at the Texas State Historical Association Meeting. It is a lot different from the other shows I do, first because there are only 10 or so used book dealers (but a lot of new book dealers such as UT Press, Texas Western Press, etc), and second because I see customers there that do not come to any other shows all year. It is an expensive show to do because the tables cost a lot, and there is always the cost of a nice hotel room. It is never in Austin because the SXSW film and music festival is held at the same time. The show is held the first weekend in March to coincide with Texas Independence Day and the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. The big disappointment this year was that it rained on Saturday. That had nothing to do with my business, but since my wife Sandi and I were in San Antonio this year, we were hoping to watch the Alamo reenactment Saturday afternoon. I think it was cancelled, but we did not stay around in 40 degree weather and rain to find out!
During the show, the TSHA held a wonderful reception on the grounds of the Alamo, and then a dinner at the old Menger Hotel. There is something about setting foot inside the Alamo that really hits Sandi and me every time we go. It feels to us like a special hallowed place. What happened there changed the history of the World! Had Santa Anna not been stalled there, Houston and the Texians probably would have never gotten to San Jacinto in April.
Anyway, business was fantastic. People were looking for great items, and they were willing to buy when they found them. My only problem is that I sold so much nice stuff that I have to get more before Cole’s show at Warrenton starts March 27th. However, don’t worry, I have some rare items put back that will be on the shelf for that show! One person bought my collection of J.Frank Dobie letters, and another some very rare Republic of Texas paper. Another was able to purchase a Buffalo Soldier muster roll from the 10th Cavalry from 1872 and a 9th Cavalry Muster Roll from the time when McKenzie was in charge. There were also lots of small sales and few buying opportunities for me. The entire show was a lot of fun.
Next year TSHA will be in Corpus Christi, and I strive to have great stuff available for that show!