First, though, I thought I would share a funny story about my first (and real) visit to the Dickinson Room back in 2013.
During the summer of that year, my wife and I visited New England, and we spent time in Boston, Amherst (my first visit to Dickinson's Homestead), and the coastline of New Hampshire and Maine. Information about that trip is included in this travelogue, HERE.
We happened to have time during a weekday -- a Tuesday I think -- to take a tour of Harvard, and following that tour I ventured into the Houghton Library. I inquired about the Dickinson collection at the security desk, but the guard told me that the public was only allowed in to see it during specific times (I think it was something like a Friday at 2 p.m.).
I was about to walk away, but I pulled out one of my business cards and handed it to the guard. I explained that I had written a book about Dickinson and asked if they would be willing to bend the rules a bit since it was my one and only time there.
The guard inspected the card and then picked up the telephone to call someone locked away in a staff-only section of the library.
Soon, a woman came out. The guard explained my plight, showed her my card, and she mulled over my request for a bit.
"Sure," she said, "I can show you the room -- but come back at about 2:00 p.m." It was about 10:30 a.m. at the time She then added something like, "I can show you the room at 2:00 -- but only for a few minutes."
I thanked her profusely, and then ran off with my wife to find a restaurant for an early lunch. I figured that we could eat and chat until about 1:30 p.m. or so, and then we'd head back to the Houghton.
While we were eating, I had a terrible thought -- WHAT IF between now and 2:00 p.m. that very librarian were to check out my website dedicated to Emmett Lee Dickinson? After all, the web address was printed on my business card. What if she visited my site and deemed the humor to be too boorish and not deserving of a private tour of the Dickinson room? What if I return to the Houghton, and the woman were to throw me out on my ear for misconduct unbecoming of a true Dickinson fan?
I believe I actually broke out into a sweat and my heart started racing.
After we ate lunch and paid the check, we headed back over to the Houghton. I was a nervous wreck. What sort of reception would I receive?
Well, all the worry was for naught. The staff member greeted me in the lobby and took my wife and I up to the Dickinson for a private showing, and the woman was very gracious. Hee hee -- I don't think she had a chance to look at my site! LOL.
I did send her complimentary copies of my books though, to thank her -- it was very considerate on her part (and the guard too) to accommodate us! The tour was certainly a highlight of our trip!