My 3 Monsters: It Never Happens to You . . . Until It Happens to You

Recent Posts


It Never Happens to You . . . Until It Happens to You

As I mentioned this morning, Brent and I went out to a couple of our favorite thrift stores looking for cool things.  I sold that cute Jane Eyre clutch I made to a really nice gal in Singapore (I know, right?!) so I was, as always, looking for cool old books.  I found a few at Goodwill and Brent picked up a couple for me at the Lutheran Thrift Store nearby.  $1.00 each.  And I was thrilled.  Then, when I got to working on one of them this afternoon, I found a letter tucked in the pages.  It was a letter from the author, a Professor at Stanford, to the man who owned the book, a calculus teacher.  I was even more thrilled.  I love to find these little hidden treasures that open up a story line in my mind.  It's just fun.

A while later as I was sewing, Brent was flipping through another book when a bunch of papers fell out.  We picked them up and noticed immediately that some of the papers were tickets to a movie premiere.
"They Came to Cordura" starring Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth.  I've never heard of the movie, but a quick internet search revealed that these are probably authentic.  The Broadway Benefit Premiere was indeed on October 21st, 1959.  Sweet, right?  Now the plot thickens.  There were also several sheets of stationery from the old Drake Hotel in New York City.  One of them was a list of names, most of them illegible.
 Harry E. Maule seemed pretty obvious, so we googled him -- an author well known in his time.  Interesting.
Most of them are hard to make out, but it looks like they say "For so-and-so" followed by a signature.  I'm guessing these notes accompanied the tickets.
But whose signature is that?  Well, here's where another letter comes in.  It is a letter from Bennett Cerf, the co-founder of Random House publishers on Random House letter head to Glendon Swarthout dated November 2, 1959.
Bennett Cerf (who also happens to be the author of the book we bought which contained all these cool mementos) was the one who signed the other little notes.  It was all starting to make sense . . . Bennett Cerf got the movie tickets for Jay, Dorothea, Linda and their "beautiful mother" who were friends of Glendon Swarthout.  Who is Glen Swarthout, you may be wondering?  He is the world famous author of The Shootist and about 19 other books.  Makes sense that he would be able to call in a favor from the president of Random House, right?  And that Harry E. Maule would have been there, too. There was another note that fell out of the book, from G - G to Marje.
I LOVE IT!!!!  But is Marj "the curvaceous Mrs. Havighurst" with the new hat?  That sounds like a funny little inside joke.  Is this Marje maybe-Havighurst the "beautiful mother" of Jay, Dorothea and Linda?  Maybe I'll never know -- I've been looking on the internet all evening trying to piece this all together. It must be her -- why else would she want to keep the note?  Anyway, amongst all these notes and tickets there was one more piece of Drake Hotel stationery, just blank on the front.  I happened to turn it over and GUESS WHAT!
GARY COOPER'S AUTOGRAPH!!!!!  Yeah, I was skeptical, too.  Brent and I looked at each other for a minute saying, "It can't be.  There's no way." before we ran to the computer and found this image on an autograph auction website:
Looks like a match to me!  Crazy!!!  It's absolutely crazy the series of events that led to us finding these hidden treasures.  That someone in Singapore would buy a book purse out of my shop.  That I would be looking for more books today.  That Brent would go into that thrift shop and buy that book.  It's like one of those stories you hear about on the news or on Oprah.  But it never happens to you.  Until it happens to you.  I tell you, a good day thrifting is priceless!


  1. Cool stuff! I fully expect to see you on a future episode of Antiques Roadshow raking in some major cash!

  2. Now that my friend is a find! Congratulations to you!

  3. very cool find... I was almost at that very sale... but instead spent all day not buying shoes for my very picky son... grrrrrrr.

  4. Antiques Roadshow here you come!!!

  5. That is truly amazing! I never make finds like that at my thrift stores! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm loving yours and just became a follower.


  7. That is SO cool! I was reading your blog post to Sherm and he said, "is Gary Cooper that little black guy?" and I had to say, "no, that is Gary Coleman." I don't think he was nearly as impressed ha ha.

    PS. Congrats on your new Etsy shop! That is SO cool too! Do you do special orders? I need an Alice in Wonderland headband and Snow White head band for this weekend.

  8. Daina,

    What did you have in mind? I could whip something up for you if you want, but you're so super talented you probably don't really need my help.

    I would have been just as excited about finding Gary Coleman's autograph. At least I remember his fine work on Diff'rent Strokes.

  9. Antiques Roadshow nothing--you're on your way to being a history detective, my friend.

  10. Amy, I am not kidding, I can't tie a cute bow to save my life. All I want is a black headband with a thin black bow for Alice and a red headband with a little bigger red bow for "No Wipe" (Leah's pronunciation) aka Snow White. Would you really be up to doing it?

  11. For sure! I'll get them in the mail tomorrow morning!

  12. You are AWESOME! What is the cost?

  13. I am embarrassed it has taken this long to say thank you, the girls got their headbands yesterday and they are PERFECT! They were so excited! The wore them to our ward carnival tonight. Thank you thank you thank you!


Thanks for leaving a comment. I try to respond to every one, even if it takes me a little while!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...