I e-mailed with a friend yesterday about James Agee so I went to my bookshelf this morning and picked out an old paperback copy of Letters of James Agee to Father Flye. The pages are yellow and brittle–I think I got it in high school–and I haven’t looked at it in a long time. I read through the book on my subway ride to work. After about twenty minutes I noticed something lodged in between the pages–a personalized bookmark that my father had made for me when I was a little kid. It features a drawing by my uncle Fred.
Dad had stickers with his name that he put in all of his books and he was proud to make stickers for my brother, sister, and me. I remember having a stack of them, held together with a rubber band, like they were baseball cards. I loved peeling off the back and sticking them on things, not just books, and I quickly depleted my stock.
I have no idea how one of them–an original, with the backing still attached–found its way into the Agee book, but it was like finding a tiny, intimate treasure.