I originally published this blog last year. Around the week of my birthday, several things happened, coincidences that I probably wouldn't have noticed. However, since I have been writing, I pay attention. It may be my age, also, the awareness that things come together in magical ways. So in that week serendipitous stuff happened.
We have a car in our family, one that I got second hand in 2000, a 1997 Land Cruiser. I drove it forever, until the mileage went over 150,000 then my husband used it to drive back and forth to Austin. About four years ago our son's car died and he got it and drove it until late last year when he decided to buy a smaller car. Our daughter took over the Land Cruiser. Her husband loves to revive interiors and wheels on worn out cars, so it looks like new and is still going strong. It has none of the new technology gadgets these young people are used to, such as back up cameras, blue tooth, yadayada, and the radio was not great. So it's being fitted with all that necessary stuff. In preparation for the new installations, our daughter opened the ashtray on the front dash and discovered a small blue box. Years ago she saw this box and thought it might be an old garage door opener. It was ignored until she decided to pry it out with a pair of pliers. She discovered a type of skeleton key inside, but one with a weird hole in the end.
Watching the sunset over the water on the back porch, we passed the key around and took guesses on what it might open. I thought it might belong to an antique secretary that we purchased. We probably loaded the piece of furniture in the back of the car and put the key in the ashtray for safe keeping. Skeleton keys are basically all alike and I have several, so I had just used another one for the doors on the secretary, but this one was much thicker, and there was that hole in the end.
As we often do, sitting and watching the sunset, we got hungry. We loaded up and went to the Gypsy Joint, a great place to eat on Market St. if you are ever in Galveston. My husband put the box with the key in it in his pocket so he could research what it might fit. We pulled up to the restaurant and noticed the car belonging to the person we purchased the Land Cruiser from was parked in front. We know this because of his distinctive license plates. When we went inside he wasn't there, but he showed up later. This was probably because one of the best bars in Galveston, DTO, is right next door to Gypsy Joint. We'll call him Bubba. Bubba walked in and my husband motioned for him to come over and showed him the box and key. Bubba recognized it immediately. He said it was a key to his grandmother's music box. He had three music boxes and one of them was missing the key. Mystery solved. That key has lived in the ashtray of the Land Cruiser for seventeen years.
Earlier that same day, I received this message via messenger on Facebook: "We don't know each other. I'm working on my ancestry and I believe my grandfather was married to your husband's grandmother, Myrtle Eleanor Johnson. I know this is very convoluted, and I am not a direct relative. I'm trying to find anyone who may have a photo of them. I believe they were married when Myrtle died. I know I may sound crazy, but I notice you are an author, so I hope you appreciate eccentricities."
Now, the problem was, I actually received this message in September, 2016, but it had been hidden and I didn't see it. It was a fluke, that it showed up on this particular day. So, when I responded, I had to apologize for the delay. The woman confirmed that her grandfather was indeed Abner Earl Campbell and he was indeed married to my husband's grandmother, Myrtle Johnson Linney Campbell.
So we messaged back and forth, sharing information about Mr. Campbell. In a matter of a couple of days, she purchased the book I just published about Myrtle and her family and read it. She said my portrayal of Mr. Campbell was accurate. I had no personal knowledge of him, but made many assumptions about him in this historical fiction. She told me following Myrtle's death, A. E. Campbell married a woman twenty-two years younger than himself. They had a son, the father of the woman I was corresponding with, and that son was fourteen when Abner died.
Two coincidences in a week. For me, it confirmed magic can happen. I do indeed appreciate eccentricities, and I have an opinion about the reason these things occur when they do. I think, and this is just an opinion, there is spiritual energy moving around us and the spirit of Bubba's grandmother and Myrtle colluded to share energy to bring all this information to light; there it is. This photo is Myrtle, one of the characters in And the Day Came. Her likeness is on the daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters in the Moore family, and she has sent a message via Mr. Campbell's granddaughter. Thank you Myrtle "Heart" Johnson Linney Campbell. I'm a little slow, but message received.