When my younger son was a senior in high school, he took a fancy to collecting old books, preferably classics. A group calling themselves “Friends of Napa Library” held book sales four times a year with proceeds benefiting the library. To encourage children to read, all students were able to get several free books. There was also a $3 Brown Bag day which my son chose to attend to beef up his book collection. When I visited South Africa to see my father who was fighting cancer back in 2004, I told him about his grandson. My father was an avid book collector who inherited primarily German theological books dating back to the 1600’s, but my dad also had The Complete Works of the poet, Robert Burns. He gave the book to me to give to my son. I now have it for safekeeping.
Oddly enough, my mother has a letter from one of her relatives attempting to explain a little family history, some of it quite amusing really. My mother sent me a copy of most of the letter to show that not only can my father’s family be traced back to the 1200’s, but her family can be traced way back, too. My younger son features in this part of my account as well. He has been looking into the family genealogy and is interested in visiting Germany due to the family connection. With this in mind, my mother sent the copied letter to pass along to my son. And here’s the strange part. Robert Burns was a good friend of one of my relatives in the 1700’s. In fact, Burns wrote a poem “Tam Samson’s Elegy” with his friend Samson in mind. So we have the book dating back to 1896 with the letter to reference it, a pretty cool bit of personal history.