June 16, 2016:

I gave what remained of my childhood to an unscrupulous dealer of used books in La Jolla, on Prospect near the Historical Society, one Spring day in 1979.

More accurately, I traded it, for three volumes of rare Hegel I still haven't read.

A Volkswagen bus full of military history and airplanes: references, pictures, memoirs, pretty much my entire reading from age eight to seventeen, minus Tolkien. He'd previously promised to buy them.

He didn't buy them. "I don't have the money now... As if that had been our agreement the day before. It hadn't.

Instead of the expected cash I made the trade, defeating my purpose. I was spiraling into deep depression, making snap judgments like this one which I later came to regret bitterly.

His shop is no longer there. In a way that's good. I sincerely hope he died, his ungrateful children sold the property at auction, and squabbled over the outcome. In another way it's bad. I would like to have said this to his face.