A Review of an Inspiring Review

So, having worked at the same company for six years, I’ve spoken to some of the same customers each week for that same amount of time.  Plus, our company owns about 35 of its own bookstores and I’m the customer service rep for a handful of them, so I know the managers well.

Yesterday, I somehow had an odd and interesting conversation with one of my favorites.  We began talking about TV shows we like such as Antique Road Show, The Pickers, and Pawn Stars; and how the ideal job would be to get to go through old sheds full of junk to look for treasures.  This led to a conversation about old things we like to collect.  I have a strange obsession with old sepia pictures of people I don’t know.  It turns out he does too.  Years ago I picked up bagfuls of them at a Flea Market for a quarter each.  I couldn’t believe these were someone’s family photos.  Would my own Kodak and digital downloads be in a future Flea Market some day?

Back in the day, people often posed with the dead for a photo.  My manager friend suggested a book to me called Wisconsin Death Trip by Michael Lesy.  We actually both looked it up together on Amazon while on the phone to see if it was still available.  Sure enough, it is. After the call, I began reading the reviews people had written about this book, and one review in particular totally caught my attention and I just can’t get it out of my head.

It was written 3 months ago by a reader named Erica Bell. It begins…

This is a true story.

When I was around 11 years old (I’m 46 now), we got this book as a Christmas present from my quiet uncle, who was a doctor far away. I pored over this strange book in horror. I said, “Mother, I think something’s wrong with Uncle James. Why would someone give a book like this to us?”

About three years later, he gassed himself to death.

I’ve practically committed these lines to memory. There are a thousands images these few lines conjure up in my mind and I may just have to sit down and write about it.  I think these would make great opening lines for a book, and heck, I just might write it!  But I find it fascinating that of all places to find inspiration, it was in a review on Amazon.

Oh, and I’m totally going to by Michael Lesy’s book too!

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