Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Speaking of books....

I have a few things that I treasure as if they were they were very valuable when in fact they mean nothing to anyone except me. For reasons I won't go into on this post, I don't have much left from my childhood. I somehow, and I'm not even sure how, managed to hang on to one thing though. It is a literature book that belonged to my father. He was forced to quit school to work on the farm and in 1945 that wasn't uncommon in rural areas, especially down here. He later went into the army and after he served he went to night school under the G.I. bill and got his high school diploma. This was after he and my mother got married and before I was even born.

I must have been 10 or 11 when I found this book on the bookshelf and claimed it as my own. It's copyrighted in 1952 so it's pretty old now, and very well used and tattered but to this day it still has the best collection of short stories and poems, essays, plays and even photography that I've ever seen compiled together.
It was my first introduction to Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain. I was first scared out of my wits by Edgar Allan Poe and read my first love story by Maureen Daly all between the pages of this old literature book.

And now years later, the best thing about this special book is on the inside on the first page my father's name is written in pencil and in his handwriting, and right underneath that in my own childish handwriting is my name. It's quite priceless you see.

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