My Brooklyn basement looks like a library -- a poorly kept, dim-lit, neglected library, containing thousands of books, vhs tapes, magazines and newspapers, most cinema-related. Although I had hoped my brother would have tried to sell them, or at least have been the caretaker, that will never be. I have taken over.
I haven't decided if the best way to sell these is through Amazon, eBay, or make up a website, but I do know I need to get them out of there. Too many have been lost already. Before I was to begin this Herculean task, I invited my cousin to peruse the collection and take whatever he wanted. I know he would be a good steward and my dad always liked him and would love to see his precious books wind up in someone's hands who appreciates them. So, off he went...
He picked his books and brought them upstairs. The first book he picked up and glanced through was one about the director, John Ford. He then began reading aloud something that didn't make sense to me, a list of wallet locations. I thought he was joking, but then he held up a piece of paper that he had found in the book. It was written by my father. It detailed all the locations in the house of where he had hidden money-filled wallets.
If you read Fractured Facade, you may remember a scene where the police state they had found 12 empty wallets. I always doubted those wallets were empty, and I had informed the detective of that. Based on the rummaged-through condition of the house I saw when I arrived, I didn't know if it was the police, or someone else, who emptied those wallets. Reading this note from my dad is validation that I was correct. This isn't the first time I've "heard" from my father.
What I don't understand is why my father would put that note in a John Ford book. Perhaps that was a book by his bedside and got moved downstairs when we began working on the house. That's the only thing that makes sense because I have no link to John Ford. He's not one of my favorite directors and I would never read this book. But what is even stranger is that out of the thousands of books my cousin was drawn to this very one. What are the odds of that happening? Pretty amazing...but, wait, it gets better.
The second book my cousin opened was "The Making of the Wizard of Oz." When he opened that one up typewritten recipes on index cards fell out. Stained and worn, I remember baking with my mother while these cards lay on the kitchen table. They were my favorite cookie recipes. My cousin thought since he was a chef my mother was giving them to him. I told him no, my mom was talking to me through him. She usually doesn't contact me, so this was a big deal. And my mother did not have a love for movies like my father did, so why in the world were they even in that particular book? Again, what are the freaking odds of this happening?
You can't make this stuff up...