Exactly how it was with Mike Hardesty.
Jo and I both instantly felt comfortable with him, like he was
a long-lost friend. He told us about growing up in the small
town of Sigourney, Iowa, only 50 miles from where our Dad was
raised. He talked about his love of books and music, his fondness
for the past, his delight in finding "coincidences"
in life. He expressed an appreciation and knowledge about art,
not knowing yet that my sister and I were artists.
Jo and I talked too and the longer
the conversation went on, the more evident it was that there
was an unusual affinity there, even though our original purpose
for visiting Mike's Books & Records was to sell the man some
old Eric Burdon LPs!
In fact that very day, the first of
many unusual happenings took place. I mentioned the MacKinlay
Kantor novel "Spirit Lake". Mike told us that just
that morning he had bought that exact same book! When Jo and
I got home three hours later and talked to Dad about Sigourney,
he knew the town well, had relatives who had once lived there...