This book called to me, asking to be reborn as a journal cover. Once opened, I discovered this was the dictionary of one Miss Evelyn Kozara of 8752 Witt Street, Detroit, 1938.
A peek at the 1940 census reveals that Miss Kozara’s parents were naturalized citizens from Poland….and Evelyn was 12 years old when she got the dictionary.
Evelyn enjoyed doodling in her dictionary and seemed especially fond of practicing her name in cursive writing.
Many of the illustrations are colored with a red pencil: Dipper, Checker Board, Wash-board, Trowel, Link, Daffodill.
Evelyn would be 87 years old now, if she is still alive. I imagine this was her first dictionary, a tool for learning….but also for doodling and imagination.
One of the joys of buying used books is discovering the hidden treasures inside. Handwritten notes in the margins. Gift inscriptions on the inside cover. Bits of paper mysteriously tucked inside pages.
On page 893 of The Modern Library’s 1938 edition of “The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe,” I find a scrap of paper. Omni Baltimore. 301.752.1100 Thanks to Google, I discover the Baltimore Omni was opened in 1984. Its phone number changed to area code 410 in 1991. That’s all we know… a scrap of paper written in the late 1980’s… mysteriously inserted into the chapter entitled The Poetic Principle. What do I imagine? A visit with an old friend during a study break? Maybe a romantic tryst over holiday break….and now it’s time to get back to the books? What the heck. I don’t even know if the same person that underlined the book also wrote the hotel name. But that’s the beauty of imagination, my dear reader. Just imagine the endless possibilities.