So here is my mea culpa for the surprisingly few yet still annoying mistakes that are my fault in the mostly fabulous guidebook about Richmond I wrote, Insiders\’ Guide to Richmond.  (Whether you agree or disagree with the inclusion of such-and-such restaurant or the omission of some dance club I file somewhere else where I won’t be able to find it when I might need it. )

It became eminently clear to me as soon as it was too late for me to do anything about it that I should have put Richmond Free Press as an Alternative Weekly in the Vital Statistics. It’s unfortunate that being brain dead goes hand-in-hand with writing a guidebook. Occasionally when I wanted to go on auto-pilot I would turn to the Globe Pequot title the editors wanted me to follow–Houston–which should have told us all that we have a problem–and so I put in one alternative paper just like that author did. Dumb. Insensitive. Stupid. Doesn’t make me happy that I didn’t see that faux pas.

NEXT… I refer on occasion to the Forest Hill neighborhood as Westover Hills and I know those Forest Hill folks care. I got it right sometimes, but sometimes my brain just checked out. Most outsiders don’t care a whit about the distinction–if there’s a hill, they’re away–but I do know better and should have caught myself being dopey. 

Lastly?  I, in the guise of getting up to the minute updates on Maggie L. Walker’s year of birth–long reported as 1867, but due to the sleuthing of Elvatrice Belsches now incontrovertibly proven as 1864, I sloppily wrote that Walker was born a slave. No, she was born free, in the time of slavery.  UGH–for me not for her!  Similarly, I wrote that her mother was a slave–well she had been, but wasn’t at the time of Maggie’s birth.  Bums me out to get that wrong. I will shout the real deal from the tops of my tours though.

I do not like making mistakes. I was raised Catholic enough that you see my confession here. My penance isn’t writing this; it’s knowing I should have done better and didn’t.  I can take some comfort knowing that the list of the mistakes the publisher almost made that I caught and fixed is much, much longer (and included titling the book Indianapolis rather than Richmond).  Of course, it’s possible there are other errors that snuck on in.  I’d say let me know–but do I really want to know?

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