|Chet (blue coat) and his brother, Bill, at Rita's wedding in 2012.|
As I think about Chet it is hard for me to think of him without a book in his hand. He loved to read. The books he read, however, were the types of books no one ever talks about including him. I think most of them were of the western or spy thriller genres, but I am not sure. When he and his wife would visit us they always wanted to go to our used bookstore. They would buy the bargain books on the 50 cent table so they wouldn't feel bad about reading the book and then abandoning it wherever they were when they finished it. I picture a wake of used paperbacks trailing behind them, left behind on cruise ships, in vacation condos, and tourist hotels. They also bought books for their little mini-lending library outside their home. I am pretty sure that Chet built it and his wife kept it stocked with used books she thought the neighborhood teens and children would like. I love it that they were book lovers.
One time when we visited Don's childhood home, I was prowling around looking for something and I
opened a closet door thinking I might find what I wanted inside. I was shocked at what I found. It was a closet full of Louis L'Amour books, hundreds of them.They were well organized almost as if the closet was a tiny Louis L'Amour bookstore. It makes me smile to even think of it today.
As a tribute to my father-in-law today I am going to read my very first Louis L'Amour book. I'll have to drop by our local used bookstore to find one. And while I'm there, I think I'll pick up a few books to feed the local mini-lending library in hopes that some child drops by and is delighted by the books within.
Rest in peace, Chet. Thanks for the memories.