The car was packed, Buddy was at Mountain Dog Spa already, and Dave was working until three when we would leave for Appomattox. I had to make a quick run in the morning over to Greenville, South Carolina, to pick up more Avery books for the trip. On the way home, with time to spare, no Buddy and nothing to do, I stopped in Pickens, South Carolina, to visit an antique store I’d often drooled over, but never stopped before. Pickens is a sweet town with historical downtown with two traffic lights.
I am in search of a toy cannon. Not a miniature, a toy, such as a toddler might pull on a string. I explained this to the dealer who asked some questions and said he thought he might find one for me. Then I spied the doll. She would be perfect on the table display for my upcoming book Blue-Eyed Doll. Then the fancy cars, just like in Rebecca & Heart. I need to think about that. But, when I saw the mechanical bank I was speechless. I. Have. To. Have. This.
This cast iron mechanical bank is identical to the one I made up and wrote about in Blue-Eyed Doll. Really, I made it up, and here it is. It’s as if I wrote about that one.
By now the dealer is very curious. I’m obviously not a collector of any one thing, dolls, cars, banks. I liked everything, including the hat I tried on. So I explained. I’m not a collector of anything. I’m an author. I use articles from each book on the signing table to pique kids’ interest. Things they can handle and wonder about and we can talk about.
Well, what do you know? The antique dealer is also an author! Mike Gould is the author of Promises Kept, a Christian memoir. His publisher is Ambassador, who was at the conference I attended two weeks ago. Two good friends are also published with them. Small world. Now we’re facebook friends and he’s going to find me a child’s cannon for my Jim Limber’s book table. I bought his book and he signed it for me. Don’t you love it when things like that happen?