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6646 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA, 90028
United States

(213) 223-6921

Stephanie Gibbs, a bookbinder in Los Angeles, CA, offers edition and fine binding, book conservation, custom boxes, and paper repair for contemporary and historic books, manuscripts, and documents to clients throughout California.

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the shoebox

Stephanie Gibbs

Strictly speaking, the box probably should not have come into my possession. Technically, I had neither claim nor right to it. That I was able to spend so many hours hoarding, voyeuristically engulfed by these letters and photos was something that my Puritan streak chastised me for. That is the problem with having a common name. That is the problem with employing a lawyer from the lower end of the profession to settle an estate. That is the problem with allowing curiosity to override ethical principles. Of course I should have told the lawyer that he telephoned the wrong person. Of course I should have returned the papers as soon as I realized just how personal they really were. Of course I did none of those things.

There are plenty of external factors that I could blame for this collapse of manners and morals. There are almost no excuses for my behavior that would be plausible, justifiable, or even have a remote chance of standing up in a court of law. That I was in the wrong I freely admit, just as any addict knows, on some level, that they are operating beyond the boundaries of polite society. I didn't care.