Well, my friend Casey at All I'm Saying had a little contest where you had to tell her your favorite book and why. I haven't had the time, nor gumption to read for many years so I mentioned that my favorite book was Give a Boy a Gun by Jack Olsen and write a few lines about why. Well, I'll be darned but I won her contest and got a $10 gift certificate to buy a book.
So now, I have to tell you a story. A very sad story that I haven't admitted to anyone except my husband. It makes me too sad, and I'm terribly ashamed.
After the trial, our family had the honor of meeting Jack Olsen. He was a wonderful man and spent time with mom getting information for the book he was writing about "the incident." I hate having to try to figure out what to call it when I talk about this. I hate saying "dad's death" and I hate saying the killer/poacher's name, so I tend to say "the incident." Anyone have any grand ideas on what to call this? Anyway, our family became rather close to Jack, he was a wonderful man. After the book was printed, we all went to dinner one night when Jack was in town - he lived on Bainbridge Island in Washington. Jack had brought quite a few hardcover copies of his book for our family and Cheri's. So we sat at dinner with Tim Nettleton, Jack, and all the other "key players." We all signed Cheri's book, then mom's then mine, etc. My book had personal words from everyone - I treasured it. It was a night I'll always remember. If we had ever had a fire, I knew exactly where that book was and it was one thing I would have taken out of the house.
So, this is what breaks my heart. A few summers ago, we were going to cater the wedding of a "friend of a friend" and met with them about the menu. He is a Boise firefighter and she was a 1st grade teacher and our friends had mentioned to him who dad was. He started asking me about "the event" and I told him a little bit about it and said he should read the book Give a Boy a Gun. He said he had always wanted to read it and so, being a Pogue (if you like something we have, we'll give it to you - it's genetic. Dad was like that, we're all like that) I told him I would loan him the book. I showed him all the signatures inside the front cover and told him how much the book meant to me. I told him to be careful with it and return it after he was done reading it. He promised he would.
Well, to make this long story short, I didn't get the book back. I asked our mutual friends if they could try to get it back for me. I was "friends" with his wife on Fb and had asked her several times if they could return the book. Finally, our mutual friends found out and reported to us that their dog had chewed the back cover up. I told her that I didn't care, I could take it to a book shop and probably get it repaired. I told the wife on Fb that I had heard what had happened to the book but it didn't matter, I would get it fixed.
She would never reply. So, I don't know if they threw the book away or what. But my precious piece of history is gone. I couldn't believe that a teacher and a fireman would do such a thing to me, but they did. It's something I will always regret and have thought about it so many times. I'm so ashamed that I loaned out something that was so special to me.
Jack Olsen died soon after. He was a wonderful man and a great author.
I had always wished I had asked him for another signed copy before he died. So, with the gift certificate, I found ONE copy of the book on the site and snatched it up. The book has been out of print for many years. I want my kids to read it someday. So, thank you Casey, for the book. Now, I'll think of you every time I see it - and it won't be loaned out.