Daily Archives: August 28, 2013

Treasure Hunting: An Unexpected Call

In last week’s “treasure” post, I wrote about a day of antiquing two Saturdays ago with my friend, Donna. During that trip, we were in an antique shop that was going out of business and would only be open another week or so. As I waited in that shop for my purchase to be written up, I noticed a small leather-bound book on the desk. On the front were the words: “My Trip”.  The shop manager, Pat, told me I could look at it, but added that it was “spoken for”, and a gentleman was planning to return for it.

As I glanced at the book, I found that it was a travel journal kept by a lady from Pennsylvania, and the beginning date was January 25, 1928. Every page was filled with details about her many trips.  Although I would have liked to have read every word, I scanned it quickly and placed it back on the desk.

That weekend, I kept thinking about the little book. On Monday, I called the shop and spoke with Pat. I asked her to please keep my name and number and call me if the man didn’t return for the journal.

Since then, I hadn’t completely forgotten about the little journal, but when it crossed my mind, I quickly dismissed it. Surely, by now, it had been sold, and the shop had closed.  Yesterday, Pat called and said that I could come get the book.

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Looks larger in this picture, but it measures 4 x 6 1/2 inches

Here’s a sample page:

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And a close-up of that page:

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“Lindy” passed over our boat at 12 noon on his way to San Juan from St. Thomas on the Caribbean Sea.

So I did a little internet research last night, and found this on Wikipedia:

At the request of Capt. Basil L. Rowe, the owner and chief pilot of West Indian Aerial Express (later Pan Am’s chief pilot as well) and a fellow Air Mail pioneer and advocate, in February 1928, (Charles) Lindbergh also carried a small amount of special souvenir mail between Santo Domingo, R.D., Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Havana, Cuba in the Spirit of St. Louis.

I don’t know that I’ll ever learn more about this lady than what’s in this journal, but apparently money was no issue for her. They cruised to Bermuda, Bahamas, Trinidad, Havana, Martinique and Puerto Rico in 1928-1929.  The book skips a period until 1936, when they are on a train in California. And then there’s this page:

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“Rented a Chevrolet car for one month”

The writer tells how they spend their days, describes the scenery, whether or not the seas are rough while they’re aboard the ship (and if any of the passengers are seasick), names movies that they see, etc.

I am simply amazed by this little journal and plan to read it front to back as soon as possible. Don’t be surprised if I share more of this treasure here in days to come.

And thank you, Pat.

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