Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Tasty Diamond in the Very, Very Rough...

I know a book dealer who lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She runs an independent bookstore and is often summoned to do appraisals on book collections for estates and cases of probate. When she was recently called to a residence in the western part of the city, just at the base of majestic Cheyenne Mountain, she didn't expect anything out of the ordinary. Why would she?

As she entered the home, she noticed various curiosities: unloaded firearms, defused hand grenades, knives and a plethora of survival gear. She then made her way over to the book collection. The Turner Diaries. Mein Kampf. The Anarchist's Cookbook. Racism, hate, terrorism. The worst of us - humans - in print. Chilling was the feeling she had, but away she went with her task. The list of disturbing monographs continued to pile up. Then it happened.

Amidst the macabre of it all, she found it: The Joy Cooking. My friend could do nothing but smile. As much as the written word may divide us, it moreso brings us together. Commonalities build trust between us all, regardless of our starkest differences. Perhaps if our good appraiser - an avid food enthusiast herself - had a chance to sit and talk wine, bread, and mere poi with the deceased, an attitude or two may have been adjusted. It would have been a start...and a book would have been the point from which to embark.

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