The man who wrote the letters that inspired Genealogy lived at 44 West 77th Street in New York. I've walked past this building dozens, if not hundreds of times. It sits across from the American Museum of Natural History. Perhaps you've walked past it as well.
This past week I was in New York for the Romance Writers of America conference. And of course I walked by his building, as I've done so many times. But this was the first time that I knew his life physically intersected with mine. He walked on the same sidewalk I did.
I said, "Hello, Erwin," and the gooseflesh rose on my arms and tears blurred my vision.
I wonder how he'd feel if he knew that his letters were kept by my great grandmother -- I can guess, because I wrote a whole book about that feeling. And I hope he'd find it okay that I wrote that book about that feeling, inspired by his adventurous life.
Special thanks to Kathryn in New Mexico who tracked down this bit of Erwin's life and sent it my way.
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XO - Mae