Originally I had this blog all planned out, and all that was required was for me to finish my errands and write it.
However, one of those errands required I make a business call at Prairie Archives. Granted most who live in Springfield know this venerable bookshop, but for those who don't know the store I'll offer a brief introduction. It was started 39 years ago by John R. Paul, and houses an incredible array of antique books and artifacts, comics, and used books. The store is right across from the Old State Capitol.
It was already promising to be a good trip, because I found a new book of ghost stories, Stories and Legends from the Illinois River Valley, by Dan Fletcher.
But what awaited me was a true find. While talking to Mr. Paul he suddenly remembered a book of folklore that might fit my needs. (He has a fantastic memory for what is in the store, and customers' interests.) And after studying the shelves of local history he pulled out Folk-Lore from Adams County, Illinois, by Harry M Hyatt.
I didn't want to believe my eyes, since I have been hunting for this much-referenced book for years. It is one of those that is mentioned in just about any book on Illinois, or folklore, and, of course, nearly impossible to find. Yet here was a copy, and I braced myself for the price.
Then could breath; the price was within my range. It turned out that it was because it was a 1935 second edition, with library markings.
Needless to say it came home. (As did the book of ghost stories! I later learned how lucky a find this also was - little is coming up on this book on the internet searches.)
And I couldn't wait to share the story, particularly when it came from one of my favorite bookstores!
I am a Springfield, IL based storyteller with a fascination for how folklore travels, and for history.