Shortly after I started Central High School, Dad came home with four book under his arm. I don’t think it was any special occasion or if they wrapped in gift paper. I don’t even remember if he said anything when he handed them to me unless it was, “Here are some books you might find useful.”
- Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language
- Roget’s International Thesaurus
- Merriam-Webster’s Synonyms
- Robert’s Rules of Order
Why these books?
As I type these, I have to wonder who told him this would be a useful combination. Dad was a smart guy, but he constructed roads and bridges, not words and paragraphs. I can’t think of anywhere he would have been exposed to Robert’s Rules of Order.
Still, those books served me all the way through high school, got packed up to go to Ohio University, and were thumbed through at papers in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.
I’m shuffling stuff around in my office to make more efficient use of space, so I took the books down this afternoon. I flipped to the front pages to see if he had written anything in the flyleaves.
No, he was a strong believer in never engraving on or writing in anything that you might need to sell or pawn some day.
They’re a little worse for the wear, and they wouldn’t bring anything at the pawn shop, but they are priceless to me.