“Deja-vu” ? Or, “you’da had to of been there”?


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While watching a construction container being hoisted on to the back of a lift truck last summer, I noticed, as the container slowly crawled to nearly a vertical position, before the bottom rails lined up with the rollers on the truck, some books  spilling out of a box. The books fell toward the back of the container and tumbled about in disarray.  Being the bookworm that I am, my curiosity got the better of me, and I asked the driver of the truck to hold the positioning of  the container while I had a look.

The container was ordered from our company, and placed just outside the garage of an old, yet, elaborate looking house, which was apparently being vacated.  Or, at least being relinquished of much of its content, which was no longer wanted for whatever reason.

At any rate,  I climbed up, and over the back gate of the container to see if  I could salvage one or more binding of  what I  feared would be  a wealth of wasted knowledge, had I not at least had a look.  Delightfully surprised,  my efforts did not go unrewarded, as I did find a few intriguing books that afternoon, which I put aside and brought home with me later that night.

In retrospect,  I am still a little piqued at myself,  for as hindsight would have it, there were many other treasures of the lettered sort in that container.  All of which  I  knew would soon become a permanent  part of the landscape, at the local mountain known as the landfill.  Oh well, I suppose that some would say, ashes  to ashes, and dust to dust, at least they did have somewhat of a proper burial.  Nonetheless, as it really wasn’t the time, or the place for me to go on an essay extrication, right on the street in front of the scroll scrapping customer’s house,  I probably shouldn’t feel so badly.  But, I still do.

On a more cheerful note,  however, there is the book which inspired this little discourse.  Which, I must say,  in and of itself, is a treasure to me.  Though not the most academic of finds, and was certainly never up for any literary awards, this book enraptured me with mystique, and a nostalgic thirst to unravel the mystery which I  found within it.  Not mid way through a spellbinding narrative, or while nearing the end of a paper edged suspense thriller, but right there on the front page, when I first opened it.

Okay, first, please understand that I do realize that it may only be me who is so enthralled over this find.  Number one because I do hold the content within the book, published in 1894, by Hope Publishing Company in Chicago, Illinois,  very near and dear to my heart.  And secondly, though I am a nondenominational believer in my Lord, and Savior,  Jesus Christ,  there are many timeless enlightening, and inspirational songs within the 1894 edition of  the  Pentecostal Hymns combined editions one and two.  And thirdly,  even though many mentions of the Rapture, are found within four hundred and eighty Gospel Hymns, which, in my book is enough to write home about eternally,  that is not the enraptured fix, which took hold of my intrigued  heart and mind that day. The thing which still to this day tugs at my heart-strings, is a simple little note found there on the front page of the book when I opened  it.

Now I feel a little intrusive for leading you up to this point, where you are probably expecting me to expose  some bewilderingly surreal spiritual secret, or some sort of romantic message in a bottle.  And, if  it truly does turn out to be just a big let down for you,   I apologize.  However, for the rest of you hopeless romantics out there,   I feel that, at least if not at this moment upon finishing this little read, and once I disclose what the little note did say, that you too will find the person who wrote the note, taking you back in time somewhat, even if but for only one moment of awe-inspiring curiosity, and spiritual connection.

The note quite simply caused me to put myself in the shoes of the person who wrote it.  In fact, even at this moment as I write about it I still get the same feeling of  deja-vu, that I felt the first time I read the note.  It’s not as if there was any deep revelation to the  meaning of life,  or a heart wrenching love letter on the face of the little note, as I hope I adequately explained earlier.

No,  it was just that it caused me to wonder if maybe the person was sending this book to a loved one, with the little note explaining why it meant something extra special to them.  Was he or she sitting on a church pew, when they wrote the note and passed it to their wife, or husband,  across the lap of someone else who was sitting in a little Pentecostal church meeting, sometime in the past, between the years of 1891, and 1991 ? And that of course, could only be if the person had lived to be a hundred years old and was still sitting, and writing from a church pew somewhere out there in 1991.

So, please don’t be let down too much when I tell you what this little note said.  Instead, if you can, try to imagine the feeling that came over me when I read it. And still does come over me, even as I sit here at this moment looking at the book and writing about it.  The feeling that back some time within the last 119 years, someone who is no longer with us on earth today;  Someone who probably, lived and loved much as we all do;  Picked up a little book, opened it to the front page, saw the date, and was deeply touched with a feeling of nostalgia, and purpose, or soulful destiny. A feeling strong enough to inspire them to write a note and place it on the front page of the same book which I also found. A feeling strong enough to survive the expanse of time, of  who knows, some, 25,  50, or, quite  possibly  even 100 years to that fateful day a year ago, when I  first opened that same little book,  to that same front page where they placed it, and read the note which simply said: ” Notice the date I was born in 1891, lacks 3 years of me.” So even at whatever age this person was when they wrote the note, the book in which I found sometime assuredly after they had passed away, was just as nostalgic and touching to them then, as it is to me to this very day. 
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12 Comments

  1. OMGosh! I do the very same thing and wonder who and why and what it meant to them. I love nostalgia and the feeling that comes along with it. I can go off in my dreams and entertain myself in a crowd or when I am by myself. One book that really made me sad was a very old health school book that had the national health creed in it. Some of the health commitments reminded me of growing up in my grandma’s house. We always opened the windows wide to get fresh air during the day and cracked one or two at night even in the winter to breathe well while sleeping. But one was brought tears to my eyes, I promise to use a toothbrush if I can get one. Imagine that, “if I can get one”. How poor they must have been and understanding too to have actually put that in the united states health creed. Sigh..

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  2. Amen, just imagine…I should have known you and I were kindred souls Sojourner.. or do I call you by that name here? Hey, yeah, I remember sleeping in grannies house with no heat in the freezing winter… simply because, it was better for you…and they weren’t about to go to bed with the heat still going anyway. Not to mention that the bedroom doors had not been opened until it was bedtime. And as far as the tooth brushes…I really don’t think my granny had to worry about it from the time I can remember. Though,I do recall her telling me, and showing while we were fishing @ the old farm pond once, that they chewed sassafras twigs to keep their teeth clean when she was growing up.
    Thanks for the comment

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  3. I find myself curious, like you, about what else might have been in that container. Who knows what might be lost, or what stories might be told in those dusty old books?

    Anyway, fascinating read, and I’ll drop by again to have a better look at all those tags of yours that draw my interest, and there are several of them.

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  4. This post is truly precious. I live in a tiny rural town in the American Southwest and have some stewardship over two historic buildings (one a church; one a classic tarpaper shack). Every time I peel up a bit of linoleum or pull off a bit of wallpaper, I wonder if I might have the privilege of finding a tiny treasure such as you found.

    BTW, what does your blog name (Sons of Thunder Patron) refer to? Just curious. I’ll be back to check out more.

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  5. I came across some literary gems in a similar way. Someone was mad that they weren’t be offered what they wanted from a used bookstore for a bag of books so he walked away and left them sitting.
    I picked up the bag and it contained numerous titles of my all time favorite author(besides God of course) Zane Grey. All these books are hard back edition and one of them even has a signature.
    They are a priceless heritage to pass on to my five year old son.
    I have always loved the writings of Zane Grey.

    By the way I’m Brad.
    I would welcome you linking me in your Blogroll and I will link you to mine.
    Thanks.

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    • This is ridiculous. Really. I grew up, as a child devouring every book I could get out of my dad’s musty and mouldering collection.

      I’ve read more Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour books than I can count. Of course, I remember only a handful of them, but that’s what I was nursed on. My own blog’s pretty new and this is a brave new thing for me. This and Timethief’s blog are the only places I’ve actually visited so far, and already, something so irrationally improbable happens.

      Riders of the Purple Sage?

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      • Well, I don’t know, judging from your writings, you’d probably run in to much more interesting post than what you find here, but, I appreciate your patronage, as well as I really enjoy reading the story you’re writing. been reading @ your site. Sometimes, things just happen the way they are supposed to happen.

        Hmmm, imagine that. Not very often that I can recall either…lol, yeah you’re right… ridiculously,irrationally, improbable. But then I think we both somewhat have had the same coach’s, our old man’s, Zane Grey, Louis Lamour and last but certainly not least…the perpetual time thief…Good hearing from you again. I’ll be dropping in on you.

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  6. (sigh) It should be a crimal offence to send books to landfill…
    Surely people can find a local organisation to donate them to? or an International one who provides books for developing nations where there is a despirate shortage of reading materials?
    What a total shame that people are too lazy/unwilling/ ignorant/unthinking to take the time to share or pass on their books, just because they are one person’s junk doesn’t mean that they aren’t another person’s treasure.
    Shame of people who’s rather dump a book in spite becuase they didn’t get money for it, if only they realised that access to books even in the 21st century is a luxury that not everyone on the planet enjoys.
    Bravo for rescuing what you could, and appreciating it.

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  7. Well since it’s a “virtual” invite there’s always Corona or root beer or water or ice tea. I’m a poor unemployed 50 yr. old College student with a wife and a 5 yr. old son. I can’t afford a real beer for myself, let alone friends. :-)
    Not quite sure what you mean by liking my picture on your website. Should I be scared? :-)
    If you’re not sure about something, politically or science wise, or Christian word wise, Conversation breeds conversation. Just ask questions, it never hurts.
    I’m not overly learned… just old and I research a lot. I’m not a scientist or a politician, just an every-day man who met Jesus, and doesn’t believe in Global warming and doesn’t like bad politics.
    And I read alot. I’ve been sick or depressed a lot through the years and I’ve done a lot of reading and research.
    Oh… and I was lucky, this guy through his back of books down on the front porch of the store… I was spared the dumpster experience. :-)
    Brad

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    • lol, I was only saying that if I responded to you, here, then the pretty little ladies picture…on the recent comments widget would disappear…lol, but, actually, I was referencing your question on the forum, of whether you were a scary guy or not…and no , you’re not, but, I really don’t need a pretty girls picture on my site sidebar either, but, in response to your question( which I already answered on your site ) I mean your post on the forums of course, why do I get no comments

      well, any way… that was a little secret… now you have blown it… so, when do I get the Ice Tea Invite? lol, i’m a 51 year old red neck, who wished he was in school…and knows that JESUS is the only answer…

      what else is there to say ? Let’s just keep it rolling…

      Like

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