[Cross-posted at wallyconger.com]

I’ve just gotta share this.

Three summers ago, I unloaded a raggedy-ass copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 I’d carried around with me for some 40 years. The edges of the cover were “chipped” (as they say in the comic book collecting biz) and its colors were faded. The staples were tight but a bit rusty. The book’s inside pages were dingy and yellowed.

Shit, the magazine was 50 years old and looked more haggard than I do.

Anyway, I’d lost any sentimental attachment I had with that comic a long time before, wanted some cash to play with, so when a comics dealer offered me close to a couple’a grand for it, I grabbed the money.

I’m not stupid. I knew the guy’d eventually flip the book and make at least twice what he paid me for it.

Didn’t care.

OK, here’s the red meat of this story…

After spending a great amount of time and effort, that same dealer tracked me down this past week.

“Wally, my man, it’s Howard.”

Remember, I hadn’t heard from Howard in THREE YEARS.

“I finally sold that Spidey book I bought from you,” he said. “I ended up getting more for it than I thought I would.”

I was afraid to ask what he’d sold it for, so I didn’t. Was he calling to gloat?

“Just wanted to give you a heads-up,” Howard added. “I’m popping another $400 to you in the mail.”

For me, a deal’s a deal.

With a single handshake, it’s done.

Three years ago, Howard offered me a dollar amount for my crappy comic book, and I accepted his cash. Business was over, as far as I was concerned.

But Howard’s an exceptional guy.

He never forgets his “tribe,” the people who make his trade possible.

He treated me far above and well beyond expectations, three full years after I’d last done business with him.

Few things surprise me these days, and when they do, they’re seldom pleasant.

A chain of unpleasant surprises was broken this week.

Thank you, Howard.