Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bev's Believe It or Not

Okay. So yesterday I participated in the Top Ten Tuesday meme. The topic was Top Ten Books (that you own) that you'd want to rescue in case of disaster. Or, in my case Top Ten groups of books that I'd want to rescue--'cause there's no way on earth I could possibly choose just ten books. Anyway...so when I decided that I would just have to list my "puff book" as I call it, I went to the shelf to get the official title: Thomas Moore's Complete Poetical Works. And made an absolutely mind-boggling discovery.


Now you have to understand...I coveted this book, but I've never read it. As I mention in the meme, I just thought it was one cool-looking book. And it was published in 1895, so it's really old, and it's got this interesting, puffy, off-white cover that just called my name every time I stepped into the used bookstore. When I finally got my hands on it, I didn't really go through it page-by-page but I I did try to read it. Well, let's just say it's flowery, 19th-C poetry at its best (or worst, depending on your point of view) and I never made it past about 20 pages or so. But it's a cool book and the first really old book that I pu
t on my shelves and it was a keeper. And there it sat, undisturbed from 1988 until yesterday.

Yesterday, as I was thumbing through it, this fell out of the pages (click picture to enlarge):


My first reaction was to the date. 1/20/43. Wow. Then I read through it. It's a letter from a soldier who has just gone overseas to London and on to his posting (censored). Cool. So, I take it in to show my husband and I'm reading it to him and then it suddenly registers with me that the soldier in question is a Cpl. R. E. "Bob" Worrell. Wait a minute. Worrell is my husband's grandmother's maiden name. I point that out to him and then he notices that the recipients of this missive are Rev & Mrs. Earl Hankins. That would be his grandparents. Say what?!

Apparently, I was given a book by my friend in 1988 that had been sold/traded at some point by his grandmother and made its way from Indianapolis to Wabash to Mason's Rare & Used Bookstore. And the book contains a photostat of a letter from her brother. From the shelves of his grandmother to the shelves of his future wife. Go on, say you don't believe it. Neither do I. But here it is.


Full text:

Dear Folks

How is everybody at present, fine I hope, the boys all alright? How are you feeling Doris any better? Had a wonderful trip over. I never got sea-sick once and I have been in (censored) and it is very nice country everything is so nice and neat there. I have also seen London, there they can't have any buildings over four floors high. But I just seen the outskirts of it. I also seen the river called The Thames it is the same size as White river. Over here in England they really treat the soldiers nice. The red cross gave us doughnuts and coffee more than once. This here is a neat looking country also. The place I am in at present treats us very nice. Will write soon and Be good.


As ever

Bob

P.S. Happy Birthday Sis


12 comments:

Jean said...

AMAZING. That is completely wild. Wow. ....wow. Yeah, I have no words.

Heather said...

Oh my goodness, this is awesome! What an amazing coincidence!

Adam said...

THAT IS INSANE!

Bev Hankins said...

@Adam: I KNOW

fredamans said...

I tagged you; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2012/02/tag-im-it.html

LianneLavoie said...

Wow!! I seriously just had a genealogical squee attack.

John said...

That is absolutely WILD! Certainly puts to shame any of my "Left Inside" posts. What are the chances of something like ever happening to ANYONE? Miracle odds. It's like something out an O. Henry story or a "Twilight Zone" episode. (This has inspired us all to resort to caps lock and exclamation marks, hasn't it?)

Bev Hankins said...

@John: YES! It is absolutely COOL and it needs LOTS of caps and exclamation marks!!!!

Ryan said...

Wow....What an amazing and wonderous thing to happen to you guys.

CMash said...

Wow..that is amazing. What are the odds of that happening? A bit eerie!

neer said...

Incredible!!!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

There is a website where people share wonderful stories about things they have found in books. The owner of the site compiled some of the stories into a book and I read this book last year. You need to share your amazing story with him!