So, I don’t usually remember my dreams. It’s just the way I am. When I do, though, I try to pay attention.
Last night, I dreamt that I was visiting a library, and meeting with librarians there. Not too unusual, except for a few things. First, there was a freeway running through the library. Well, not running through it — I think the library and freeway were built at the same time, so really, they were part of each other. You could say the freeway had a library built around it. It did mean, though, that there were some pretty weird twists and turns to the building.
Anyway, while meeting with the librarians, one showed me an index I’d always hoped existed, but had never actually seen. She thought I’d be interested in it, and I certainly was. It was a spiral-bound index to the New York Times, on various special subjects. It was an annual volume, so presumably there were many, many others — hopefully one for every year since 1851, or maybe a bit more recent. There were tabs to different subjects covered by the index, and one of them, about two-thirds of the way through, was an index to — wait for it — wait for it — ships, mentioned in the NYT. Ah… love at first sight. Truly.
I had looked for such a thing in the past. Well, not really, actually — I’d looked for ships listed in the annual volumes of the NYT Index, but I’d never looked for a separate, supplemental index to the NYT. Could such a thing exist? Sure it could. It’s the NYT, after all. So I was absolutely thrilled to find this. I wrote down as much bibliographic information as I could, so I could find a library that owned such a thing once I got home, and then review every single volume of it, to collect citations for every vessel mentioned in the New York Times.
When I woke up, there was, of course, no such piece of paper next to my bed. So, alas, I still don’t have an index to ships mentioned in the NYT. But if it existed in my dreams, it seems there might be a very, very small chance that it exists in real life, right? If you know of such an index, please, please, please let me know. I’ll be forever in your debt…