A Wonderful Sort of Serendipity – Part One

Last week, I was working away at my desk, and I go the strangest phone call. Phone calls in general are a little strange, since my office and particularly my job are very much email based in terms of communication. When you work with ISBNs, talking isn’t always the most useful way to work on something.

Anyways, there goes my telephone with an Ontario number I don’t recognize, and on the other end is a woman from the Lindsay Public Library. Might I be Marion Foskett’s granddaughter?

It turns out the library recently had a substantial donation of books to their book room, which arrived as a bit of a mystery. Looking inside, they found bookplates with my grandmother’s name (some old enough they were from her first marriage to my grandfather). Intrigued, one of the volunteers headed to the Internet, and managed to find me. The books included an old yearbook of my grandmother’s from her days at St. Clement’s school, and the Library was intrigued.

As my father lives in Lindsay, it wasn’t hard to check with him and discover that yes, he’d donated about 25 boxes of books to the library, and it was possible he hadn’t checked them quite completely for what was inside. Mystery solved, on my part.

But the folks in Lindsay were intrigued – where had these books come from? Who was my grandmother?

When I sketched out the bare bones of her biography, we discovered that one member of the volunteer group remembered seeing her once in Britnell’s – and said she was “the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.” Another had lived on the same street as Scroggies of Summerhill Gardens fifty years ago – might they be relations (yes, they were – my great great aunt and uncle). They had legendary Christmas Eve parties, and it was the only time, she wrote in an email, that she had seen a suckling pig actually served.

With so many connections – and the possibility of some lost treasures among the books – we headed to Lindsay to see just what this wonderful sort of serendipity had brought about, and I will write all about how that turned out very soon.

Leave a Reply