Sunday, December 20, 2009

A lucky find

Offsetting my dumb camping move was a lucky purchase that I made a few weeks ago from an on-line seller of out-of-print used books. I found a copy of "Tonya", a fiction book written in 1960 by World War Two Marine Corps fighter ace Col. Greg "Pappy" Boyington. I got the book for twelve dollars, and packed it for this trip that I knew Lagniappe and I would be taking.

Well when I picked up the book to read it, I opened the cover and found much to my surprise that it was inscribed and autographed by Boyington himself! Big score. I'm betting that if the seller had known what he had, I'd have not gotten it so cheaply.

I'm about half way through it right now, and while it's obviously never going to win any literary prizes, it's interesting to see how the plot and the characters in Boyington's "fictional" story mirror his real-life experiences with the Flying Tigers just before the beginning of the war. As one who has researched Boyington a bit--and read his autobiography and other books about the Flying Tigers, it's not hard to figure out who he's talking about as he weaves the story around the "fictional" characters, one resembling himself included. Granted, Boyington's tales of his time with the Flying Tigers--both auotbiographical and fictional--bear scant resemblance to any other historical works on the Tigers, but it's fun reading nonetheless.

Best twelve bucks I've spent in a while, even without the really clear signature of Colonel Boyington.

Now if only the seller hadn't put his store's sticky label on the back cover of the book in such a way that it won't come off without damaging the cover. Thanks, asshole!


  1. Try a razor blade and nail polish remover on a Q-tip... Just don't get the remover on the book cover...

  2. If you have a hair dryer, set it so it's warm and direct it across the label, it should warm the adhesive enough to be easy to remove.

    Best, and a happy new year to y'all.

  3. Anonymous7:49 PM

    Great find.