Where Are You, Vernon J. Schryver?
Closing Comments by Dick Lynch

You know, some of the nicest people are the ones you never meet.

Take book collectors, for instance. Nicki and I are both avid readers of science fiction, and over the past decade or so we've amassed a considerable collection of SF paperbacks and magazines. It's gotten big enough lately that it's even defied attempts to prune out lesser-read paperbacks for the used book shops. It wasn't unusual, for instance, for us to take in an armful of books for trade and after a half-hour or so of browsing, leave with an armful-and-a-half of new material. It's gotten so bad lately that our 'to-be-read' stack is becoming a good sized SF library in itself.

For the past year or so, though, we've noticed something unusual about many of the volumes we were bringing home from the Book Racks and other bargain bookstores. For one thing, many of them had the look of true collectibles -- Ace Doubles and Ballantine SF from the `60s were turning up regularly. Also, just about all of these paperbacks had been owned by one Vernon J. Schryver of Boulder, Colorado, who had thoughtfully printed his name on the title page of each book.

We were grateful to get them, but I couldn't help wondering who this Mr. Schryver was, and why he was gutting an obviously well cared-for twenty year old SF collection. Not to mention how his books found their way from Boulder, Colorado to this corner of the world. We still haven't a clue.

But this brings me, in a round-about fashion, to our own personal Bob Shaw story.

With best wishes from Vernon J. Schryver & Bob Shaw One of the reasons we went to Rivercon this past July was to record BoSh's speech for reprint here. As you can see, we got it, and it's wonderful as usual. But, being the collector that I am, I had sifted through some of our SF collection before we drove north and had grabbed five or six BoSh books to have them autographed. We were fortunate when we got there to be invited to BoSh's room for a room party with him and some of our friends, and were able to get all of them signed. But when he got to the copy of The Two-Timers, he opened the book and there, staring back at him, were the words 'Vernon J. Schryver'. "Schryver?", said BoSh, "Who is Vernon J. Schryver?" At which point I related, in somewhat abridged form, the first part of this essay.

Well, BoSh is nothing if not a good sport. I was afraid he'd be offended by being asked to sign some hand-me-down the current owner had been too cheap to buy new. Anyway, here's how he signed  >>>

Everyone in the room got a laugh when they saw, and the story made the rounds the rest of the convention. So thanks, Bob! You made this year's Rivercon truly memorable for us. And thanks to you too, Vernon, wherever you are.

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