I met Pam a few years ago while doing research on Lucy and she graciously invited me into her home and shared some of the projects Peter had been working on regarding Humboldt County’s settlement history. She also gave me a book Peter wrote called A Collector’s Obsession: Photographs of Humbolt County, CA.
In it Peter describes how a chance encounter with a well-meaning antique store owner turned into an obsession with early photographs and photographers. An obsession that lead Peter to collect thousands of photos, write many articles and create many books. After hearing about my discovery of Lucy’s inquest and the research I was doing, I guess she thought I’d relate.
Pam is a kind person, supportive and wise and when I called her I guess I was … just looking for help. I felt a little stuck with the story of Lucy and others like her. Other Lucys. The information was swirling around in my head like a typhoon (do typhoons swirl?), and with every book I read, every fact I learned, that pile ‘o stuff just got bigger until I felt like my head would explode. Of course I didn’t share this rather dramatic description with Pam, but I did tell her that I wanted to do something with Lucy’s story. With all the stories I was finding that needed to be told.
She was very understanding and (kinda) jokingly told me she would channel Peter’s ghost to see what he would say.
I hung onto the silent phone for a moment and then Pam said rather matter-of-factly, “Peter would say, quit your whining. Just get the info out there. Do it.”
So that’s what I’m doing…