In his coverage of the most recent PulpFest for the Pulp Flakes blog, I noticed Walker Martin make this comment: “Now you might wonder what I bought and sold. As usual my best seller were the cancelled checks that Bob Weinberg had sold me back in the 1980’s. These were all from Munsey and Popular Publication files and full of fascinating information about the prices paid for stories and artwork and the date and title of the pulps that they appeared in.”
Yep, hard info — plus cool autographs. Brian Leno has reported that some items from his collection were purchased from Walker at a previous PulpFest. But the Cornell Woolrich auto, he says, “I got from Scott Hartshorn, and then when you introduced me to Walker Martin I went wild and pulled out the wallet.
“I remember Walker let me sit in his table area and scan through what he had.
“The Walt Coburn and the Talbot Mundy we’ve already presented.
“Both were great guys and my wallet was considerably less fat when I arrived back in North Dakota.”
I think that trove of pulp cheques cleaned Autograph Hound Leno out — at least temporarily. In pulp circles it’s common knowledge that Bob Weinberg landed the banking archives, and from Bob they began to work their way out into the world.
After looking over Walker’s pulp report, Kevin Cook put in some background detail: “What Walker Martin did not say is that Bob Weinberg kept a hoard of checks for himself from his favorite authors.
“I imagine that he kept all the checks for A. Merritt’s stories and novels, plus probably the six Munsey checks endorsed by Robert E. Howard and the one from Dashiell Hammett as well. Maybe they will eventually show up on one the auctions someday. Imagine the frenzy bidding for a Robert E. Howard signature!”
Whereupon Leno put in: “Years ago I remember Weinberg was selling an REH initialed check for $225. I was young and broke and it slipped through my fingers.” (Interesting to know that Howard didn’t even bother fully endorsing the cheques, just scribbled “REH” on them and took them to the bank.)
But that bit of info caused me to chip in, “Bob may well have turned over some of the treasures on the side — it’s quite possible some of the better items went out privately.”
And that set Kevin on the trail deep into the backroads of the Pulpy Pulp Pulp jungle seeking knowledge, and a Secret Master of That Fandom “clued me in that there are only a few checks left, none signed by A. Merritt.
“Private deals were apparently the rule.
“That’s how I obtained the Charles B. Stilson checks that appear on the blog today.”