As horror fans I’m sure we all have prized possessions that we all treasure. Whether it’s a photograph with our favorite actor or a an autographed hero prop from a horror classic, there’s probably something in your life that holds some sort of meaning. Personally, I have a personal letter from a director that I keep hidden and secret that I think it’s pretty rad. I’d certainly be bummed if I lost it, but life would go on. Now imagine you had about 2,000 rare items and lost them all in a single event.
Gerald Winters, owner of Gerald Winters & Son in Bangor, Maine, faced such an event recently. Winters moved to Maine about a year ago from Thailand in order to open up a rare book shop where he could put his collection of books and items on display and for sale. It was a collection he had spent decades pulling together and it included such raretities as first editions, signed copies from J.R.R. Tolkien, and seven original typed manuscripts from Stephen King. We’re talking typed manuscripts for “Maximum Overdrive”, “Dolan’s Cadillac,” and “The Eyes of the Dragon.”
Well, early Tuesday morning a water main burst on the street his shop is located on and it proceeded to dump several feet of water into his basement. Unfortunately, the basement was where he was housing most of his collection while he reorganized his shop. According to Maine Public, Winters believes he lost about 2,000 of his books and that only about 10% of his collection has survived the incident. I recommend reading the Maine Public accounting of the incident to see Winters’ heartbreaking reaction to the devastation. It’ll turn your stomach.
I can’t even begin to imagine what Winters is going through right now. All I know is my heart bleeds for the guy and I hope some kind of good news makes it to him soon enough. Hang in there man.