January 2018 | Nate Pedersen

Original Stephen King Manuscripts Ruined in Flood

200px-Eyesofthedragon.jpgGerald Winters, a rare book dealer and major collector of Stephen King material, recently opened a rare book shop specializing in Stephen King in downtown Bangor, Maine. Every book dealer's nightmare came true for Winters early Tuesday morning when a water main broke, flooding the basement of his shop with chest-high water. Winters had recently moved much of his stock into the basement while he re-organized his shop. Among the numerous losses were the original typed manuscripts for seven of King's works, including Dolan's Cadillac, Maximum Overdrive, and The Eyes of the Dragon.

In total, Winters estimates he lost about 2,000 items, including first and limited editions of King's books, galleys, signed copies, and various ephemera. Only about 10% of his stock remained unaffected. Winters had been using his store as showcase as well for his extensive personal collection of King material and numerous items on display were from his own library. As a result, the flood also had a devastating impact on a collection that had taken him two decades to build.

In the year that Winters had been in business in Bangor as a recent transplant from Thailand, Winters had come to public attention for the creativity of the window display in his shop Gerald Winters & Son. Winters installed an interpretation of a scene from It where Pennywise the clown can be seen in a storm drain. Winters had purchased an actual storm drain from Bangor Public Works that was the exact make and model of the storm drain on Jackson Street, Bangor, which had inspired King when he was writing It.  Winters combined the storm drain in his window display with an abandoned bike, a bloody boot, and scary arms protruding from the drain.

More about the flood, including images, can be found in an article from the Bangor Daily News.

Image of the cover of The Eyes of the Dragon from Wikipedia