The book first came to me via a book salesman who was moving through the countryside one November evening in 1974 and Gerry happened to hand him this copy to give to me, signed and all, thoughtful, and the salesman did. He came to our cabin in the woods. If it sounds romantic, it was.
I still remember the hour he arrived because it was a dark late afternoon with snow on the ground and it felt like already night time. We stood and talked in my two room cabin. Probably me leaning against the old sink, the visitor leaning against a small counter. The kerosene lamp on. I was waiting for Sweetheart to return from town. Instead the salesman showed up.
He stayed long enough for Sweetheart to meet him. We never saw him again. We wouldn't meet Gerry for three decades. Like I said, it was romantic.
I read that book aloud to Susan, our son, all children that ever came to the cabin and later our house. The book began to fall apart. The silverfish came to read it, gobble it, they took some of the book away. It was allowed. The book was tough, the book was vital, the book was in love. It has endured.