Carter/Johnson Leather Library September 2011 - Volume 1 - Issue 9
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This month the Library would like to give Special Thanks to:
- House Griffin
- Slave Caroline
- Master Ron K
- Toni Soline
- The Stern Hand and Julia
- Daddy Panther
Tales from the Librarian
This month’s tales is on video … somewhere. We’re trying to find it and/or process it into text – read on below for more in this month’s newsletter.
That’s Some Stuff Right There
There have always been things in Jill’s and my collection that are hard to put in categories. With the help of Jez the Library Genie we finally came up with a name for all the “stuff.” We are going to just call it “STUFF” and will be telling you about it as we find it.
These beautiful pins are the creation of Henry Puryear. They were a gift to the Library staff at MsC this year. Each is hand crafted from glass, etched and then kiln fired. Henry also works his artistic magic creating glass plates, platters and about anything that can be made from this delicate material.
If you like what you see, let Henry know at email@example.com.
New Mexico has been an awesome trip.
I wanted to write just a bit about Ziggy’s Corner. I have said in previous newsletters that the corner has taken off in ways I never expected. New Mexico has brought that to a new and wonderful level.
In the now four events that Ziggy’s Corner has been a part of the Library; many different things have been left on the shelves. Vet wrap was exchanged for copies of Equus Eroticus. An event tee shirt has been left in place of a copy of Different Loving. Videos, toys, jewelry, candy, candles and even computer cables and a container of disks have been left. I joked with two volunteers that about the only things that haven’t been left on the shelves are books.
At EvoRevo three different items were left that I have to share. The Friday night of the event I found a young lady sitting in front of the shelves. I went over to her thinking that she was looking for something. She was crying, and the tears were tears of joy. On Ziggy’s Corner, she had placed a stone in a small leather pouch and under it she had placed a card with the story of that stone. That pebble had been her worry stone through a very trying break up and she wanted someone else to have it who might need something to hold on to. She was crying from the lightness of letting go. Before the event was over, the stone and story were gone.
Another piece left and taken that weekend also had a special story. A young man whose lover was deployed overseas left the Marine tee shirt he had pledged to wear until his partner came home. Someone else has that tee shirt now.
The third piece was a photograph. It almost looked like a yearbook photo in a small frame. It too came and went during the weekend.
Ziggy, you have no idea of the good will you have started
Letter to the Librarian!
Dear Mama Vi,
I was sorry to hear of your loss this weekend (I don’t know the details, only that you had to leave part way through MsC). It was wonderful hearing you speak though, and I’m so happy my slave thalia (who I’ve often spoken to of you) was able to hear you.
I wrote you after MsC 2010 and shared some of my experiences with you (I wrote about my first visit to the Carter Johnson Library, about seeing copies of magazines and newspapers I’d grown up reading and had discarded – you kindly posted my letter on your website). This year, I had a new experience in the library, and wanted to share that with you.
My slave thalia, who I’ve been with for 3 years, was able to attend her first MsC this year, which in itself was incredibly special for me. Following dinner Saturday, we went to the library, walked in, and just looked around, taking in the sights, the energy of the place.
Then, without thought or words, I simply took her hand, and we began walking among the collection; and as we walked, I shared some of my recollections: how I used to stare at the pictures in this magazine and imagine myself in them; this one was my favorite for reading in-search-ofs; this one always had great stories. And she shared some of her own memories. In my past, as a scared, confused young man, I nevernever never would have imagined voicing any of this to anyone. Saturday night, it felt like the most natural thing in the world.
To me, the library is not simply an archive, not only a place to preserve artifacts from the past: it’s a sacred space, a place that magically, for a few minutes, let me go back and take a few steps on a path I had wandered from 30 years ago. Being able to openly share these parts of myself, these “secrets” from my past, with someone special, someone so close to me, was a wonderful gift I had never expected to receive. Thank you for that.
And once again, I say thank you, to you and all the other volunteers who have made this amazing place and made it available to so many people. It is truly a sacred space where magic happens.
Master Nick M
New to the Library this month are eighteen early issues of Piercing Fans International Quarterly (PFIQ).
The magazine was published by the Gauntlet from the mid 1970’s to the late 1990’s. The first 14 black and white covers featured the work of the artist Bud. Issue 15 brought the first color cover.
A regular feature of the magazine was a series of articles by the owner of the Gauntlet, Jim Ward. In those articles the reader could obtain information on various styles of piercings and how to perform the piercing safely. PFIQ also featured interviews with piercers and body modification artists as well as photographs and letters from readers, piercing art and stories.
Fifty issues were published.
One of my great joys is taking people through the Library and showing them the many hidden gems of kink history that are on the shelves. Exploration and discovery often lead to the question, “Can you tell me more about this?”
“Blbliotheque Erotique Gerard Nordmann” 2006 CHRISTIE’S Paris
In late February 2006 one of my sons called me. He told me about an upcoming auction at the famed Christie’s Christie’sauction house. According to Steven, discussion about this auction was all over the Leather community boards. A little later I was checking S/M Activists and read a few of the posts. The writers all expressed interest in what was going to be auctioned, but no one had posted exact information about any of the items.
Wow, I thought, Christie’s? What in the world could Christie’s be auctioning that would be of any interest to our community? I called Steven back and asked him if he had read any chatter about the actual catalog for the auction and if anyone had acquired it? His response was “No. No one seems to be able to get this catalog.”
Laying hands on a Christie’s catalog has never been difficult; expensive yes, difficult no. I called Christie’s New York and inquired about purchasing the catalog for the April auction. I was politely told that I would have to call Christie’s Paris. The auction would be there, and they were the only Christie’s that would carry the book I was seeking. OK, I thought, I’ll eat the cost of the call and dial Paris. It was late enough in the evening that the time difference would not be a problem. I dialed the number I was given. A polite female voice answered the phone in English with a lilting French accent.
I inquired about the catalog for the upcoming auction of erotica and the woman who, just a moment before had spoken fluent English, now only seemed to understand French. A few minutes later I heard something that vaguely sounded like “Je ne comprends pas,” and she hung up on me. “You understood me when I started this call”, I thought to myself. What in the world could that famed auction house be selling that could make them so incredibly skittish? Now I was even more determined to find out. Who did I know that spoke French?
The next day I called my boy Cubby and relayed to him the previous day’s activities. “I want that catalog,” I told him, “and your job is to get it for me. It’s time to put your excursion in France to good use. Here’s my credit card number.” Within the hour the boy called back. He told me that the prize I was seeking would cost me $80.00, and did I want more than one? I purchased three: one for the Library, one for Steven, and one that I would leave unopened. Now all that was left was to wait for the catalogs to show up.
About a week later the package arrived. Most curiously, it had a New York postmark. I ripped it open eagerly. Almost 300 high-gloss bound pages greeted my eyes. Apparently, Christie’s was auctioning off about 1200 pieces from the collection of Gèrard Nordmann, a collector of rare erotica. Nordmann was, in his wife’s words, “acutely aware of the universal heritage of documents which had, by intolerance and ignorance, been the subject of systematic persecution across the centuries.” No wonder Christie’s was nervous. The line between erotica and pornography is often as thin as an angel’s wing. This may have been rare and extremely beautiful erotica, but many people would still call it porn and porn is not something that Christie’s is usually associated with.
My skills with the French language rise to the level of about ten badly spoken sentences, but I am fluent in picture; those nearly 300 pages were filled with absolutely stunning illustrations. Original works by the Marquis DeSade, the working manuscript of The Story of O by Pauline Réage, original works published by Charles Carrington, and so very much more were cataloged for sale. I drooled over that catalog for hours, realizing that the Library already had a few fifth or sixth edition copies of these works. While I could only dream about getting some of the first editions listed in that beautiful book, I fantasized about the day that the Library catalog would make our community as proud to hold as this tome was making me.
Come find this piece of Christie’s history on the shelves of the Library!