Beacon Rock

Washington Oregon Columbia River Beacon Rock Lewis & Clark

Beacon Rock Washington State Park Columbia River

Beacon Rock, Washington State Park is about an hour out of Portland along the Columbia River heading east on highway 14.  This rock received its name from Lewis and Clark in 1805.  Hike up the rock for amazing views of the Columbia River or hike down a number of trails like the Hamilton Mountain trail.  It’s a great place for a picnic and just taking it easy.  Don’t forget to pick up your Discover Pass.

Origin of Pilgrims Progress Book

John Bunyan Pilgrims Progress

1915 Edition of Pilgrims Progress

Shankill Baptist Church 1915

Sunday School Award for Attendance

My collecting of religious books continues to fuel my imagination of days long ago.  One of my more recent acquisitions is a Pilgrims Progress edition published in 1915 London by The Religious Tract Society.  It has an attractive blue cloth cover with a nicely detailed and somewhat ornate illustration.  The wear and tear over the past 100 years is really not that bad.  There are some smudges and a few spots on the pages but that just helps confirm the book was actually read, consumed, and maybe used for the purpose it was written.

The most interesting feature of this book is a presentation label placed on the front of the first end page.  It reads:

First Prize
Presented to
Agnes Irvine
for attendance
Shankill Baptist
Sunday School 1914

My first search for Shankill Baptist Church sends me to the web page of a church by that exact name located in Belfast Ireland  The community started in 1895 as the industrial revolution was taking hold of the area and there was a great need for evangelizing.  Since the book was published in the UK and since everything I search with Shankill appears to be in Belfast, I’m thinking that may be where the book was presented to Agnes Irvine over 100 years ago.

I have since emailed Shankill Baptist in Ireland and await any information that may confirm the book actually originated from their church.


Winnie-The-Pooh Day

Milne Winnie the PoohToday we celebrate the birth of A. A. Milne, author and creator of the character Winnie-the-Pooh.  As a book reseller I can attest to the active and ongoing demand for vintage Milne books.  I’ve sold many of Milne’s books and many of the books related to Winnie-the-Pooh like The Tao of Pooh, The Te of Piglet, and Pooh and the Philosophers. I’ve even come across and sold a 1961 edition of Winnie-the-Pooh in Latin.  Milne made a positive impact in our world while he was alive and even now, almost 60 years after his passing.

Interesting facts about A. A. Milne.

  • Cambridge graduate 1903
  • A. A. stands for Alan Alexander
  • Born 1/18/1882  and Died 1/31/1956
  • Had one child named Christopher Robin Milne
  • Served in WWI and WWII
  • Played Cricket with Arthur Conan Dole


Feel Like An Explorer

Athabasca Glacier, Columbia Ice Fields, Canada, Canadian Rockies

Athabasca Glacier

Athabasca Glacier, Columbia Ice Fields, Canada, Canadian Rockies

Athabasca Glacier

I can only imagine what it must feel like to work for the National Geographic and visit remote places like the North or South Poles.  The summer of 2016 gave me the opportunity to experience what might be close to what the NG field crews get to feel and see.  Fortunately the Columbia Icefields is neither remote nor difficult to reach.

The Canadian Rockies offer a variety of experiences available to people of all ages and abilities.  You can enjoy the town of Banff and the magnificent hotels in the morning and hike to the toe of a glacier in the afternoon.  This is done with a car and a hiking stick.

My most memorable moment of this trip is when I hiked to the toe of Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefields.  Gray clouds were hanging low and moving fast.  It was cold and windy with sleet stinging my face.  I said to myself, “This is what it feels like to work for the National Geographic!” It was totally awesome and I loved every minute.

Getting to the Columbia Icefields is not difficult, just take Hwy 93 west from Banff in Alberta for about 2.5 hours.   The trailhead is directly across from the Icefields Visitors Center which you can’t miss because it’s the only thing out there.  Driving along the Icefields Parkway can take longer than you might expect with all the scenic stops offered along the way.

Athabasca Glacier, Columbia Ice Fields, Canada, Canadian Rockies

Ice Cave

Athabasca Glacier, Columbia Ice Fields, Canada, Canadian Rockies

National Geographic Wannabe

How Many Books Will You Read in 2017?

What’s your book reading goal in 2017? If you start with a random number and add titles, don’t forget to include antique or vintage books. You might also consider those you previously read. If you have children or grandchildren, include something they enjoy.  Reading the same book as others gives you one more way to connect. Completing a book before seeing the movie is one of my all time favorite entertainments. Some of the books you will find in theaters this year are:

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans by W. Bruce Cameron
The Lost City of Z by David Grann
The Circle by Dave Eggers

Auld Lang Syne

Mt. Rainier

Wishing all a happy new year.  May you enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in 2017.  Did you know that the popular New Year’s song of Auld Lang Syne comes from a poem?  A poem written by the poet Robert Burns?  That’s right, a Scotsman.  This is yet another contribution to civilization by the Scottish.  Robert Burns was considered an amazing song-writer and this is the most famous of his works.  Not only is it sung by English-speaking people on New Year’s eve but it’s also used by the Brits when they meet to revive or cherish old friendships.

Auld Lang Syne
by Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min’?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wandered mony a weary foot
Sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidled i’ the burn
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o’ thine;
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp
And surely I’ll be mine;
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.


Inscribe Your Gift Book

The Prospector by Ralph Connor, A Little Book of Western Verse Eugene Field, Streams in the Desert Cowman

Three books from my collection with inscriptions.

Streams In The Desert

Inscriptions in Streams In The Desert published 1943

Do you write on the end page in the books you give to others?  Have you ever received a book from someone to find an inscription on an end page?  I don’t think I’ve ever received a book from my sister without her writing something on the front end page where she addresses me, writes something like “you’re going to love this”, and indicates the occasion along with her name.  As a book collector and seller I often come across this and very often find it related to a Christmas book.

One of the more interesting aspects of this practice is the continued handing down of a book and that being documented in these inscriptions.  The photos at the top of this post are of Streams In The Desert by Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman.  The first inscription was Christmas 1944 to “Mother” from “Beth”.  This book was later presented in 1971 by the same Beth to Elizabeth after the

death of her mother.  Elizabeth then presented the book to Vera Jean in 1973.


On a trip to Canada in 2016 I found The Prospector by Ralph Connor published in 1904.  The first inscription was simply the name and date of the original owner.  He appears to also have written his address but only indicated “City” as the name of his city.  The book was given on Christmas day to Walt in 1995.

One of my favorite books is A Little Book of Western Verse by Eugene Field published in 1899.  It is packed with poems of a variety of topics.  This book of poems was originally owned beginning March 7, 1900 by someone with the initial of “C”, at least that’s my best guess.  The book was later given by Carol to Mrs. Sheldrake on April 12, 1938.  Next it was presented to Mrs. Bartness on Mother’s day May 10, 1963.

The next time you’re looking for a unique gift for someone, consider passing on a book that’s been in your family for a long time.  If you don’t have a book that’s been passed down from generation to generation, consider finding one at a local antique mall or used book store.  Add to the inscriptions knowing that someone may read it many years from now.  A gift like this can easily be accompanied with a gift card to a coffee shop that offers a cozy place to read.

Christmas Restored

Imagine our world when there was no radio, television, internet, and only dim lighting at night.   One form of entertainment was the everlasting invention of the picture book.  The value of these books was the colorful images and authoritative text not always so easily or readily available.  Our ancestors valued these books so much they passed them down to each generation.  Unfortunately not everyone receiving these precious gifts appreciated them.

I recently acquired an antique German picture book presenting the story of the nativity.  The cover was dirty and moldy from not being stored properly.  Being the curious curator of the dumpster that I am, I brought it home in hopes to improve its appearance and extend its purpose of production.

The name of the book is:

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (A rose has sprung up)
Ein biblisches Bilderbuch (A bible Picture book)
Neues Testament (New Testament)

Publisher: Kunstdruck & Verlag Von Ernst Kaufmann

The date of the book is not indicated but this publisher appears to have been in business during the early 20th century.  The art work on the front cover with vines and flowers is characteristic of the Arts and Crafts period 1880 – 1910 so my guess is this book was produced somewhere during that time.

Here are photos before and after my restoration efforts.


Looking Forward to Spring

TulipsHave the he gloomy gray days of winter got you down? Spring will be here in a few months and all the colors of the rainbow will be popping up in the fields and yards everywhere under a sunny blue sky.  Plan your trip now for a drive into the countryside to see a Northwest tulip farm and enjoy the wonder of nature.

2015 Saint Joseph Table

Our St. Joseph’s Table for 2015 was a big success with lots of good food, friends, family, and prayer.  Thanks to John and Sue for the Salmon, Chris and Maria for the flowers, Ned and Karen for the many party supplies,  Cathy for the creative sheet cake,  Fr. Nathe for the ceremony and homily,  and to everyone for all the wine, desserts, salads, casseroles, etc., it was all outstanding.  Special thanks goes out to Judy for coordinating the invitations, partnering with us on the planning, bread baking, cookie making, and awesome eggplant parmesan.  I also want to thank everyone for all the donations to the Share Orchards Inn homeless shelter, they were very pleased to receive everything we delivered on Sunday afternoon.  I certainly believe that God, his saints, and especially St. Joseph, are also pleased by our participation in this celebration. 

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