mjp: I understand Linda's distinction between stuff written BY Bukowski and TO Bukowski, but (as you know) that assumes only stuff BY Bukowski has literary/historical significance. Any number of interesting people might have written fan letters to Buk. Some of that might have been worth saving. But like you say, to most people, there's no difference between gas bills and letters.
From what I heard there was correspondence (not fan mail) from some very interesting people in there. But what to do with his stuff was up to Linda, and she decided to shit-can it for whatever reason. Only she knows why. It angered and frustrated Montfort, who was there to clean it out, but there wasn't anything he could do.
Last October 2008, I got it in touch with Richmond and did receive a couple of letters, very nice letters. He sounded very alive. I started working on a painting from a black and white photo of Steve, taken in the 60's. I was to send him a poster of the painting.
I finished it tonight and too late! He had seen the composition and parts of it that were painted. I heard that the project made him happy.
My girl just found 9 Richmond books in a box in our garage - I recall now that I sold the ones with Buk contributions on eBay to pay the rent in 1999. Been immersed in these for a few hours Good stuff. Good stuff.
Steve died in a hospice in West LA for the poor and indigent, alone. His sister and a friend came from the midwest, weren't with him when he died, but cleaned out his hovel apartment on the edge of Venice and Ocean Park. Word is that she may have also taken a manila envelope addressed to, and filled with, writings that he was readying to send to some woman up north for publication on alernativereel. A group of old friends, acquaintances, writers, artists and poets who knew him, and Venetians from the old 'hood are planning a monthly get together in honor of Richmond in the very near future.