Well this is interesting. Day-to-day work isn’t something to blog about (because it’s tiring and rather repetitive, and when I get an interesting question, I’m too busy answering it to share it), but today I’m sitting with 90 (more) minutes to kill before doing something I’ve never done before.
I’m going to a library to do research.
So I’ve done it as a student, of course. And in the course of my work, I quite often use library resources. And of course, because I work in a library, I use it as my own.
But last night I got on a plane and flew across the country just so that I could go paw through the Sherman Fairchild and Fairchild Aviation collections at Library of Congress and the National Air and Space Museum. So this is different. And completely unique in my career. Usually I’m looking at the library, not actually using it. So far it’s been a completely pleasant experience. Every person who has answered the phone has been polite, informative, and as far as I can tell, mostly correct.
A third of the way through one conversation, the person said, “Oh, you must be Mr. Jablonski.” These are apparently not such high-traffic places, so it’s likely my name is on a whiteboard or a google calendar.
I have no idea what this archive facility parked next to the Space Shuttle is going to look like. I’m totally going in blind (other than having poured through 300 pages worth of finding aids looking for keywords about Fairchild Aerial Surveys and Sherman’s possible hands-on involvement). The end goal is to have a documented history about that California Surveys office— who worked there? Who were the clients? What sorts of products were they pumping out?
So here I sit, across from 9 old white guys in blue blazers and nametags, a guy in BDU’s, and a 50ish female in a business suit having breakfast at the Air & Space Museum McDonad’s. I’ve got that ‘you stayed up all night’ feeling you get from a red-eye.
What secrets do you have for me Sherman?
Holy smokes there’s a lot of personal stuff, including some long letters in his own hand. In an undated letter, it seems one of the only names Sherman can remember is Hogey Carmichael: