In my personal life, I take the idea “Everybody makes mistakes” as license to do so with complete abandon. In what passes for my professional life, though, I try to avoid them. Sometimes I'm bad at that.
Take my books, The New England Grimpendium and The New York Grimpendium. Every other sentence in these tomes is a factual one that needed to be quadruple-checked and, while I thought I did my due diligence in that area, I certainly slipped up in a few places. Since their publication, I’ve had a couple kindly pointed out to me and found one or two myself. Also, certain updates need to be made as things changed with some of these sites after publication. So, with profuse apologies for the latter and a "heads up" for the former, here they are:
THE NEW ENGLAND GRIMPENDIUM
Page 52, Edgar Allan Poe: I state that his birthplace plaque in Boston is on the southeast corner of the Common, at the intersection of Boylston and Tremont Streets. In reality, it’s at the southwest corner, at the intersection of Boylston and Charles Streets. This mistake makes me the most red-faced of them all. I’ve been there a dozen times, and just read the map wrong when I was sitting at my desk writing about it. I think I included the Boston Gardens as part of the Common and that threw everything off. The plaque is still on the side of a burrito joint, though.
Page 58, Rob Zombie: This one isn’t so much a factual error as it is an inconsistency. In my entry on Rob Zombie, I state that he’s the only still-living person in the Horror Legends and Personalities section. I did not mean to kill Stephen King, whose house appeared 30 pages earlier in the section (thanks to the two or three of you whom I can’t remember who pointed this out).
Page 59, Rob Zombie: Just had a bad day with this entry, I guess. I listed Haverhill native and MLB player Carlos Pena as Tony Pena, another MLB player. I collected baseball cards for one summer in my entire life, and all I learned from it was that there was a player named Tony Pena. Who knew it would go on to hurt my literary credibility.
Page 69, Spooner Well: I state that two of Joshua Spooner's killers were British soldiers “awkwardly hanging around after their country had lost the Revolutionary War.” Since this was 1778, the war was hardly over and would continue for another five years (Thanks, Karla).
Page 80, Art of Jack Kevorkian: When I visited the Kevorkian collection at the Armenian Museum and Library in 2010, they had the complete set of paintings by Dr. Death, about 17 all told. However, a recent settlement with Kevorkian's estate has left them with only four pieces.
Page 161, Phineas Gage Landmark and Skull: I list Gage’s death as 1890 when it was actually 1860. Guess my keyboard was upside down (Thanks again, Karla).
Page 207, International Cryptozoology Museum: Loren Coleman’s Portland, ME, museum is still technically behind the Green Hand bookstore at 661 Congress Street, but has moved since the publication of the book to 11 Avon Street, just around the corner from the entrance to the bookstore.
THE NEW YORK GRIMPENDIUM
Page 100, 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero: I mistyped the date of 9/11 as September 11, 2011, moving back the Twin Towers Tragedy a good decad. I'm going to be the only person in the history of publishing to do that, I'm pretty sure. Never forget.
Page 275, Amityville Horror: Listed the actor who played George Lutz in the 1979 movie The Amityville Horror as Josh Brolin, when it should have been his father James Brolin. Will be horrified by this movie for the rest of this first printing for an all new reason.
Page 283, Mars 2112: This science fiction-themed Manhattan eatery glowed red inside for more than a decade before finally closing in 2012, not too long after my visit and before the book came out.
Page 301, Jekyl and Hyde Club: The Times Square location has moved from its previous address at 1409 Avenue of the Americas to 216 West 44th Street. The Greenwich Village location is still open at the address in the book.
Hopefully, I’ll fix these botches in some future version. If you know of more, let me know and I’ll include them here, where they can always be accessed via a link on the Grimpendium page. Until then, if you’re able to see past these flaws, I hope you still dig the books and constantly buy copies.