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?

1 comment:

mbarker said...

Lee Barker was my husband's father. He was a well respected editor at Doubleday Books, achieving the position of Executive Editor. Lee died some years before my husband and I met. It is fun to Google him once in awhile to get a sense of who he was. I had an experience similar to yours in that just after I began to date my husband, I was at a girlfriend's house and pulled a book from her bookshelf. It was about Bridey Murphy (can't remember the title) and the author credited his editor, Lee Barker. My husband confirmed that it was his dad and said that his dad's interest in psychic phemonena had earned him the title of "kook book" editor at Doubleday. Just a bit of trivia to add to your knowledge of another Lee Barker.