Monday, September 27, 2010

An Amazing Find

Yesterday, I uncovered a piece of my family history.

A friend of mine is moving, so he asked me if I'd like to have a few boxes of old books he wanted to give away.  I'm never one to pass up the opportunity to add to my library, so I drove up to his place on Sunday afternoon and was greeted by several unexpected surprises.

It turned out, he not only had some books to give away, but a whole bunch of old mason jars for canning.  I've been meaning to increase my supply for some time, and hope to have a large garden next year, so this was really a Godsend.  I had the cab of my ranger packed full before I was ready to leave.

Before driving off, I took a look at one of the boxes of books, and one caught my eye.  It was "New Russia's Primer" by M. Ilin, and it just so happens that the man who translated the book into english was none other than my great-grandfather, George S. Counts!  What an unexpected discovery.  Mind you, the book itself is about how great the Soviet Socialist 5-Year Plan was, but it's still interesting to have some little piece of my ancestral heritage.

Counts wrote an short introduction to the book, and it's the only thing by him that I've ever had the chance to read.  Out of the dozens of books he penned during his career as an educator, I don't have any.  No doubt, some members of my father's family have copies tucked away somewhere, but I'm not sure who, or whether they'd be willing and able to send them to me.  All of his books have been out of print for years, and most are hard to find.

This was an amazing find.  It just goes to show that you never know when something interesting will be dumped in your lap.

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