Just over one year ago, Stephen King super fan Gerald Winters moved to Bangor, Maine, which King fans know as the real-life town that inspired the fictional Derry, Maine. His goal was to open up a bookstore that would serve as the ultimate Stephen King tribute museum, and he did just that when he opened Gerald Winters & Son in October 2016.
The bookstore housed a massive collection of rare, valuable, one-of-a-kind King relics, including signed copies, first editions, limited editions, letters from King and even some of King’s original manuscripts; the collection took Winters two years to amass.
In what can only be described as deeply depressing news, Bangor Daily News reports this week that a water main directly in front of the Main Street bookstore burst just yesterday, flooding the store’s basement and irreparably damaging about 2,000 books and as many as seven of King’s original typed manuscripts, including Dolan’s Cadillac, Maximum Overdrive and The Eyes of the Dragon. Since much of Winters’ collection had been temporarily moved into the basement, only 10% of it was spared.
“You can’t replace this stuff,” a heartbroken Winters told the outlet.
King himself issued a comment to the Bangor Daily News after hearing about the tragedy. “I’m horrified. As a book lover, my heart goes out to him,” said King. “I will eventually reach out and see if I can help in any way.”