Autumn

Autumn

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Gift

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.

13 comments:

  1. Good friends are worth more then gold. Enjoy the books.

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  2. What a nice gesture and gift!

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  3. i am just simply touched. our actions and deeds in life, like karma, will follow us to the end of our days. you obviously shared conversations with this gentleman that he very much appreciated. and so he remembered you.

    may you have such conversations with some young 'uns so that you can remember them, too, in the future.

    what lovely treasures for a friend to bring. i would give you jambaloney's only remaining leg (his right leg - i gave my friend Beth his left leg a while ago for some sumac seeds) to be given such treasures. enjoy at a leisurely pace, dear sweet one...don't overdose on the books all at once - teehee.

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Very well said, Sweet One. My 'to read' list is a mile high. Trust me, it'll take me a while finish them. Thanks, kymber.

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  4. Good friend, good books. Hemingway has fallen out of favor in our English departments. Too bad. I think that says something about the direction our country has gone. However, these things have a way of swinging back around.

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    1. That's a shame, your reference to Hemingway and the English department. I can remember, as a ninth grader, first reading his short story, 'Up In Michigan.' It changed much about me. Afterwards, my lovely English teacher never looked the same...
      Thanks, Sixbears, my friend.

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  5. The gift couldn't have gone to a more deserving and grateful person. I'm happy that what once gave your friend enjoyment, is now passed on to someone who will care for them as if they were gold.

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    1. Thank you, Izzy. Have a great weekend.

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  6. If his best days are behind him, those must have been truely exceptional days.

    I was always a little frustrated with my father that he didn't do more with his retirement years.

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    1. Fact indeed. We all will in due time look back with regrets. Life is so very short.

      Thanks, my friend.

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