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Housekeeping chores

No column about flags today, except in an indirect way. This morning I was looking on my desk for a *particular document about flags, but couldn’t find it. I am messy writer, to be sure.

The only working space I ever kept meticulously clean was my darkroom, because to be otherwise was to invite disaster and ruin. When I worked as a draftsman, I would start out the morning in the lower center of my table, and by day’s end, I would be working in the bottom right-hand corner—with every scale, pen, pencil, Leroy lettering guide and drafting tool I owned scattered all over the table. (I stopped working as draftsman about the time AutoCAD came upon the scene, but I don’t think access to AutoCAD would have helped me much.)

I console myself with the belief that my genes for creativity and disorganization are so co-mingled that to separate them would cause terrible damage. Needless to say, Husband hates for me to sit at his desk, and he never touches mine except to solve my odd computer woes, and to look for his cordless telephone, which I occasionally carry off.

naval-institue-guideSo to find the document that I was looking for, I had to clean off my desk, which meant re-shelving books and tossing papers. As I was gathering and stacking the books, it occurred to me that you, O Reader, might find it curious and interesting to know what books I had been using.

In absolutely no order they are:

Standard Handbook for Secretaries
… I wrote a very important letter to a V.I.P.
The Colonial Experience (1607-1771) by Clarence B. Carson
Flag by Marc Leepson
Keeping Our Fighters Fit by Fosdick-Allen, from the War Department Commission on Training Camp Activities—1918 … I was looking for flag retreat info
Readings in Western Civilization by Knoles and Snyder … I was seeking literary references to the flag
The Journals of Lewis & Clark edited by Frank Bergon, because I wanted to see if there were any entries for the Fourth of July
Etiquette by Emily Post … the July 1944 war edition,
American Combat Planes by Ray Wagner … to see if I could identify the airplane in that photo I used a few weeks ago, with the plane on the aircraft carrier
Hamlet by William Shakespeare … I wanted to use that half-mad, hawk and handsaw/hernshaw quote, and get it right
Raven—A Journal of Vexillology (Vol. 13 & 14) from North American Vexillological Association
Protocol, The Complete Handbook of Diplomatic, Official, and Social Usagee by McCaffree, Innis, and Sand … because I wrote a very important letter to a V.I.P.
Harvard Classics, Vol. 42 English Poetry; Vol.43 American Historical Documents; and Vol. 50 Index
Native Texas Plants—Landscaping by Region, by Wasowski and Wasowski
Guide to the Soviet Navy—Fourth Edition, by Norman Polmar (from my son—I am probably the only mother in America who got this book for her birthday)
Complete Flags of the World by Dorling Kindersley Publishers
A Pocket Style Manual by Diana Hacker … because I wrote a very important letter to a V.I.P.
Plus: 2 regional telephone books, assorted spiral notebooks (I never throw away my handwritten notes), and a little index card notebook that I created to keep up with my HTML codes

*CSR Report for Congress (Congressional Research Service)
The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions by John R. Luckey—Legislative Attorney, American Law Division(Updated April 14, 2008)

I don’t know how much value this list is to you, O Reader, but I offer it as a small sample of the research I do when writing about flags. And that V.I.P. letter? It may have been one of the most important letters I ever wrote, so I was extremely concerned about getting it perfect.

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