Today I found a 1923 edition of Sara Teasdale's "Love Songs" at a thrift store and snagged it for 65 cents. Once home, I opened it up to enjoy poetry and found several forgotten items. A bookplate in front, accompanied by a post it which had the story of how the book was passed from its original owner to the next. Then an obituary notice for the original owner and a feature article from her hometown newspaper, with her life story in it. I was amazed! How often do you buy an old book and get with it the life story of it's original owner?
Bookplate reads "Lois Anne Smith". The post it reads:
2-16-2004, Miss Smith gave this book to Mary Lee after her 90th birthday party. We visited her about 1995..6?? She was a sister to J. W. Collier's mother, Raywil. She taught Mary Lee at Paschal, later became my patient. Don Boston
The obituary is for Lois Anne Smith. The first part reads:
Fort Worth: Lois Anne Smith, 91, a retired teacher with Fort Worth public schools, died Tuesday (handwritten is the date June 11th, 1996) at a local nursing center. Lois was born Aug. 26, 1904, in Sherman TX. She was the daughter of Dr. Forrest Smith and Jessie Thomas Smith. She was a member of Broadway Baptist Church for more than 80 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1926 from Baylor University and a master of arts in 1939 from Texas Christian University.
The article is from the Fort Worth Star Telegram newspaper, June 13, 1996. It tells the tale of a woman who taught English to high schoolers for 30 years "with an artist's eye and a realist's heart" and was much beloved by her former students, many of whom are quoted in the article. One student states, "She showed me that writing and books had lives to be shared. With her, literature was a window to understand and appreciate humanity."
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