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News from home

April 2, 2012

I will return to my blog series on the Science of the Blondes soon. However, my father passed away in March and this article cheered me so much today that I want to blog instead about it. Flash mobs in bookstores!

One of my favorite memories of my dad is of visiting this shop in Windsor, Ontario–Juniper Used & Rare Books. Our trip there was just last year, a perfect day: bright skies, the end of August, riding shotgun with my dad driving under marshmallow clouds. He was tan and strong, the picture of health. We had dropped my husband off at the Detroit airport and planned to stop at Juniper Books to buy a collection of historical photographs, Windsor Then. My dad had read about it and knew I would be interested. Together, we crossed the long arch of the Ambassador Bridge, which features prominently in the next project I’m working on. We ate fish and chips at a lunch counter on Ottawa Street, bought our book, and took the long way home, winding through the small French communities of southwestern Ontario. We talked about his youth growing up in Detroit–how his mother used to take him to work with her at an ice cream counter, how his grandfather worked at the Red River Rouge plant but never owned a car, how as a child he once found in his father’s drawer a small revolver leftover from his rumrunning days. We talked too of the things I hoped to write about, until the sunlight seemed to tremble above the cornfields and evening came on slowly as we drove.

Sometimes a book and a handful of hours with someone you love can change how you see things forever. It is great to see a local shop like this one, which gave me one of my best memories, getting the business they deserve.

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