News: January 2007


Suddenly it is 2007, and what do you know, Don has been leading the dauntless Hammett Tour up and down the streets of San Francisco for nothing less than thirty years. Hmmm, guess this milestone may call for some special activities, so stay tuned — for the moment, the best plan going is that Vince Emery (publisher of Hammett’s Lost Stories) has slated for fall publication the long-promised updated and revised edition of The Dashiell Hammett Tour book.


This month Don is only doing tours by appointment, notably one for the Arney Clan, in town for the wedding of the notorious Bill the Hat, inhabitant of Sam Spade’s apartment. Those of you (and there are some) who have been waiting for Bill the kick the bucket so you have a chance at the apartment, don’t get too excited — Bill’s keeping the Hammett digs. He’ll stash the wife somewhere, Nick-and-Nora like.

And a reminder: if you’re drifting into town and want to do the tour when it’s not otherwise slated, give Don at least a month’s notice so he has a chance to give it a plug here. If you have your own group and want to arrange a tour, just pop in an email.


Don has known that the full four-hour tour he does is a meta-tour for a longgg time (that’s why he has mercy on groups by appointment and will shorten it to suit), but it’s always nice to discover that others can connect the dots and reach the same realization. Mike Humbert sent in a link to the most recent Internet write-up, where the on-tour references to the Wyatt Earp Woman, the Hammett-Can’t-Cook Woman, the Guy Who Thought the Plaque in Burritt Alley Meant that Sam Spade was REAL all clicked on the old light bulb. Yes, it is a meta-tour — and what a meta-tour.

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