Not often, but every once in a while something in what I like to think is my home library makes its presence known by way of accident.
I was moving some larger books from one of the less reachable shelves this past week when a smaller one behind them fell to the floor.
I was momentarily stunned as I read the cover because I couldn’t believe I had a book authored by the doctor who had not only saved my wife Susan’s life a few weeks following our marriage in 1943, but had made it possible by her further surgery for us to have four sons and a daughter years later.
His book was published in 1955 by Newburyport Press, and I had yet to read it?
I have no clue as to why.
“The Enchanted Journey.”
“Lincoln C. Peirce, MD.”
Those of a certain age in greater Newburyport will remember him as one of a much-reduced cadre of local doctors during and just beyond our Second World War.
I had trouble putting the book down when necessary.
It was his colorful reminiscence of the life and times of his father, mother and two uncles that had me aboard a magic carpet ride of more than a century past.
Books of reminiscence tend to be reflections that, if too personally centered, fail to gather us in.
I found this one to be more than that.
Informal and personal as it may be, his telling of what life in the smaller patches of Greater Newburyport was like a hundred years ago is exceptional.
It also invited its readers to share in the changes of transportation from horses and buggies to street cars and automobiles.
It was a time of country living of importance to both those in it and those in cities and towns dependent upon it for farm products.