Thursday, August 20, 2009
One Strange Coincidence
We were on our way to the coast for a weekend away, my wife and I. It was the late seventies. Both avid readers, we agreed we'd stop at the used book store in Grand Ronde, west of Salem (Oregon). 20 minutes was our contract, limit 6 books. So we stopped, shopped and grabbed.
A few hours later, comfortably established in our motel room, I pulled a chair to the window on the Pacific and opened the topmost book from my stack: The Swiss Account by Leslie Waller.
It was published in 1976, ISBN 0-385-09661-5.
By now you've peeked at the pictures. Imagine my disbelief as I read that dedication.
I wrote Mr. Wallace, care of his publisher, and received a response--from Italy. Now, as I read about his life, I know he was there on his honeymoon. The Lee Barker whom he knew was an editor, LeBaron Barker, who had been a great help to Mr. Waller and who recently had died.
And the postscript: Years later we got a thing called the World Wide Web, and it made it easy to find other Lee Barkers. And other copies of the book. When I found one of the formers, I'd send a copy of the latter. Why not?