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.

my trip 8-27-2013 7-10-42 PM

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

Here’s a sample page:

lindy1 8-27-2013 7-11-12 PM

And a close-up of that page:

lindy 8-27-2013 7-11-26 PM

“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:

chevrolet car 8-27-2013 7-15-51 PM

“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.

24 responses to “Treasure Hunting: An Unexpected Call

  1. What a neat little treasure packed full of every day looks at life before computers and technology took over our lives! Looking forward to hearing more of the lady’s adventures.

  2. What a great story and a great find. I’ve kept travel journals for many years and I hope one day someone finds them in an antique store and enjoys them like you’re enjoying this one…..although there won’t be any mention in mine of sighting “Lindy”….but perhaps other things will resonate with the reader – like my thoughts on being on a Paris vacation on 9/11 for instance! I’m so happy YOU got this journal Dianna…it could not have landed in a better place than in your hands.


  3. Wow…so interesting! It’s great that someone like you – who really appreciates it – has it now and will share it with so many other people:)

  4. This is so real! There’s something alluring about handwriting, authentic experiences, and the intimacy of a journal. I’m so glad that it found its way to you who will appreciate it from cover to cover. What a fascinating lady.

  5. What a marvelous book!! I had not seen it when with you, just saw you avidly looking at it. That is a wonderful gift and I am happy for you!

  6. You find the neatest treasures.

  7. What a great find! I don’t know anything about antiques, but I love to look at old things. Maybe you, Patti, and I should go antiquing this fall.”

  8. What a wonderful treasure Dianna! You were meant to have it.. 🙂

  9. What makes your post so interesting, D are the tidbits of research you do to go along with the story-at-hand. Can’t wait to hear some of that little journal’s details.

  10. That is a treasure! Tell us more!

  11. I couldn’t believe it when I saw “Lindy” in there! This lady definitely visited the places and saw the sights !
    I look forward to reading more from this one !

  12. What a find! A treasure indeed! I love to read things like this…such a wonderful window into the past and a chance to see how someone from that era lived and traveled. Lucky you! I’ll look forward to reading more as you post! ~ Sheila

  13. What a wonderful treasure you have there and I am so excited that you plan to share some of the fascinating things you find inside!

  14. Truly an exceptional treasure! I can’t wait to hear more about the book! I am so glad you were able to get it!

  15. Oh! That’s an exciting treasure! We just bought a photo album that belonged to a woman who is somewhat local and it has the neatest pictures in it. They were a well to do family and the antique shop owner had bought the woman’s entire estate several years ago and had forgotten about the album. She gave us a little bit of info that she knew about the family. How I wished this woman had kept a journal also!

  16. Please do return to it and share with us. This is a rare treasure indeed. I’m so glad you wound up with it.

  17. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    What a treasure that you can look inside a stranger’s life in such a manner,
    I have a feeling you are going to find many more treasures in the little book.
    Please keep us posted. Great find!!!

  18. The only thing more treasured is the fact that you found it and YOU treasure it, too — her words live on .. through you. What a gift!


  19. All I can say is that this is so cool!!

  20. What a treasure! I’m glad you followed through on it. (As I’m sure you are!)

  21. Pingback: Friday’s Fences, Flowers And More | these days of mine

  22. I absolutely LOVE this treasure you found (and oh, goody, goody that you got it instead of the other person!!)! I am always intrigued to read letters, diaries, and journals from days gone by. When my Mom passed, we found a diary she occasionally wrote in when my older sisters were toddlers. She didn’t write much in it, still it was fascinating to read.

  23. Pingback: Treasure Hunting – Another Childhood Memory | these days of mine

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