Several years ago I had a conversation with an older customer of mine. He's in his late eighties, now. As we both love the written word our ramblings turned towards short stories and authors. I mentioned I liked both Hemingway's and O'Henry's collections of short stories. Then he left and I forgot the conversation.
An hour ago he walked in and said, "Stephen, please sir, will you walk outside and lend me assistance?" I agreed and walked out with the nice old gentleman and when we arrived at his car he reached inside and gave me two heavy books.
Shocked me. Then I remembered our talk. Back inside he told me his best days were behind him and he felt it time to dispose of 'clutter.' He continued, "And when I found this set I thought of you and knew you, of all people, would appreciate them."
I do indeed.
He'd given me the two volume set of the complete works of O'Henry, the pen name of William Sydney Porter. They are the 1958 clothe bond editions and, when you crack their pages, have that wonderful aged smell about them.
I hope his best days are not behind him. Good friends are worth their weight in gold.
I've much reading ahead.