Dream of:16 March 1998 "Ancestors"
While visiting a small town, my father and I had stopped in front of a store with a large vertical sign in front which read, "Collier's." We walked into the store, which appeared to be a somewhat disorganized hardware store. After glancing around, I stepped up to the front glass counter and looked inside it. Lying before me, inside the glass, were several old books which I quickly identified as diaries. I was immediately interested in one diary written by a "Dick Collier"; I asked the woman behind the counter if I could see it.
When the woman handed me the diary, I quickly leafed through it and was amazed by what I saw. The book turned out to be more of a scrap book than a diary, with sparse writing, but many pieces of old papers and objects stuck inside. It soon became clear that Dick Collier had been a soldier during World War I, and that he had kept many mementos of his life during that time. He had also recorded rather detailed information concerning his family tree, listing his family members and his ancestors. I was particularly interested in two old black-and-white pictures of elderly women who had been his ancestors.
All the books were for sale and the one on Dick Collier was priced at $150.00. The price seemed steep to me – should I buy it? This book might possibly give me vital information about my family tree. My knowledge of my ancestors only stretched back to my great-great-grandmother, Kate Collier. Kate Collier hadn't been married when she had given birth to my great-grandfather – thus my great-grandfather had been given his mother's name, "Collier." My father and I had always wanted to know more about Kate's parents, but had been unable to uncover any information. However, if I now bought this book I might be able to discover new information. If I were to scour the book, I might learn that Kate had been related to Dick Collier, and if that were the case, I might be able to learn who Kate's parents had been. One woman in the black-and-white photos might even turn out to be one of Kate's parents.
My father obviously thought $150.00 was too much to pay for the book; but I thought the pictures alone were worth that much. I knew that my father had an old photo of Kate and that he certainly wouldn't take $150.00 for it. So clearly if the two women in the photos in the diary turned out to be my ancestors, those pictures would be very valuable to us. I decided to buy the book.
I also wanted to buy another smaller book, for only $10.00, which seemed of interest to me. I told the woman behind the counter I would take both books and she rang them up for me on her cash register. She put the two books in a bag and told me the cost would be $98.00. I immediately thought she had made a mistake. Or perhaps I had received a discount which I had been unaware of. At any rate, I didn't say anything to correct the woman, and I simply handed her the money.
I was confident I had made the right decision by buying the book. When we were ready to leave, I told my father we would need to make copies of everything in the book so we wouldn't be handling the originals and possibly damaging them. I was anxious to get started making the copies and examining all the information in the books as soon as possible.
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