I’m a wisp of a girl and an accountant. I once had a childish dream of being a writer, but I’ve long out grown it. I love my books though. What I have been blessed with is Joe Strong and the three years of late nights that has brought me toward the completion of his book. He is an honest man- here in his diary. He is also very masculine. His journal, in the beginning made me angry with his insensitivity and it oozed with an imagined sense of smelly socks. But he has become my friend in the last two years. I’d like to tell you how I found him.

He was in a large oak chess table. About three by three by three- more of a butcher block than a table. I had found it in a thrift store in San Francisco in the tenderloin. I usually didn’t venture down there, but the sun was out that day. The table was very beat up, had several coats of paint on it, and the feet were wobbly. The original pieces were long gone and in its drawer were a set and a half of plastic ones.

And the drawer wouldn’t open all the way. This was not a practicable purchase. I had long imagined the pleasure of a chess match done entirely by mail like some English squire and immediately envisioned the table in front of my big sunny window with large wooden pieces set in play waiting for the next letter to arrive. The thrift store would deliver it, but I had them leave it on my landing, I thought I’d refinish it there. It sat out there for a couple of weeks until the landlord complained, so I was forced to ask a man that lived downstairs to help me move it inside my apartment. He did so easily and refused my money. Such a nice man. I went right to work on it. The drawer was a struggle to remove and came out without its back side and then would not go back in. A flashlight exposed something and I dislodged it with a coat hanger. The back of the drawer and Joe’s journal came out

The Editor has asked not to be
identified since she is still working
on transcribing the manuscript
and is afraid of having her rountine
disrupted by experts that would
want access to the journal.
If her editor's notes sound more like
letters its because they are letters
to the webmaster. She's agreed
to let me use them here because
she's a close friend and I've convinced
her that they are as entertaining as
Joe's journal.

This is sort of what the chess
table looks like