The first book that caught my eye, because of the familiar bumblebee colours, was this one - Poems to Remember. When I got home, I pulled my own copy off the shelf. It was a high school textbook, from my Grade 10 year many lifetimes ago.
I checked. Nope. No Al Purdy poems between those black and yellow covers. The front promises to take the reader away to enchanted places with knights and ladies, and medieval castles. Right. Al wouldn't have wanted to be there anyway.
Funny, some Prince Edward County kids might have appreciated a PEC poet*. Cariboo Horses came out in 1965. My buddy Larry knew.
Another first, on this bookshelf visit, was meeting face to face with warm and committed A-frame people I had only previously communicated with by email or phone. One of these folks was Michele, a local high school English and drama teacher who has been for years, the enormously dedicated guardian of the A-frame. A practical as well as literary type, she brings her Purdy Society students here for writing workshops, and for yard cleanup bees prior to the annual Purdy Day April 21.
Michele, a believer in coincidences like I, was delighted to discover a violet still blooming under the bare apple tree on this mid-November day. Perhaps it honours new energy and next steps, and the enormous committment of so many people to A-frame Trust's goals for the Purdy property.
*In fairness, looking back, I must say I had the best English teacher in the world, Mrs. Ross. Coincidentally, her daughter Ronnie, another dear friend I see too seldom, is visiting this weekend from Vancouver. The occasion is the scattering of her mother's ashes, on the farm of one of the boys. There's a connection to Al here too. One day perhaps we'll share it.