Saturday, May 19, 2007

I Was Called To This Obituary

So Thursday evening I still hadn't made my way to the book review section of last week's Sunday Times. But in said paper I stumbled upon an obituary for a man named John K. Lattimer. This was a long obituary for a person I'd never heard of. But I kept reading it. He was an interesting guy who, in addition to doing important things within his profession, maintained what was described as a "virtual miliary museum" at his home "until his collection when into storage last year."

That kind of hooked me because though I'm not into collecting historical artifacts (or anything else), I am interested in history. So I kept reading and reading and reading.

I got to the third from the last paragraph when I found what I clearly had been meant to read:

"Among Dr. Lattimer’s most prized possessions was a sword that belonged to Ethan Allen, who in the predawn hours of May 10, 1775, led a band of Green Mountain Boys in capturing strategic Fort Ticonderoga, on Lake Champlain in upstate New York — a turning point in the Revolution. Two hundred years later to the hour, Dr. Lattimer — Ethan Allen’s sword in hand — led a re-enactment of that battle."

Oh. My. Gosh. Ethan Allen is my main historical man. (To date, anyway). And, you know, I lived about thirty or forty minutes from Fort Ti back in 1975. I remember a big event going on there around then. I remember it because I didn't go, and I always remember all the fun things I missed.

The fact that I have not always realized that the desire to attend big celebrations you can't get to leads to nothing but unhappiness is neither here nor there. What is significant about this story (and it is significant) is that this guy, John K. Lattimer, was thirty or forty minutes from my house on May 10, 1975. And he was holding Ethan Allen's sword!

And then, twenty-some years later, I would write a book in which Ethan Allen played a part. And still later, I would read John K. Lattimer's obituary.

Come on. Tell me this isn't some kind of psychic connection across time and space.


Katie said...

Maybe I'm just way too tired today, but that does seem like a really cool set of coincidences!

Gail Gauthier said...

Thank you so much for noticing. I told this story at dinner this evening, and my entire family was bored. Even my mother turned away and started talking to someone else.

Thank God for this blog.