When you collect books and buy as many as I do, you come across some doozies when it comes to things stuffed into or written on the pages of these tattered, well-loved tomes.
I have so many, in fact, that I decided to share the creme de la creme with you over the coming weeks and months.
Our first exhibit was found at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Addison, IL. This store must hold the record for most books ever donated by dead Catholics because every time I go in there are stacks and stacks of dusty and obscure Catholic volumes. I have seen everything from old prayer books with violent rants written in the margins to biographies of obscure saints and nuns, the names of whom would give the most talented linguist grief.
Having met him several months earlier at a lecture about WaterGate, I was on the prowl for more books written by journalist Carl Bernstein.
In 1996, he wrote a biography of Pope John Paul II with Marco Politi entitled His Holiness. This is the book which housed the odd dedication that I shall share with you now. Written on the second page of the book was the following odd inscription:
"Merry Christmas 1996
Little Friend Jorgene!
From one good Polish
catholic girl to another!
Thanks for bringing such
joy to my life! You've
become very special to
me! Cheers to the Pols!
Little Friend Betty."
We may never know who Jorgene and Betty were, but I sure as hell have the token of their mysterious Polish friendship sitting on my bookshelf!
Stay tuned for more treasures from the twisted archives of my bibliophilic existence!