I owe a big thank you to 23 Thorns! I recently read a blogpost of his which reminded me of all the wonderful books I have sitting on a shelf in the basement. Books which I spent hours, days and months searching for, back in the days when there was no internet, and if you wanted to source something out you had to call various places….with a telephone! I can distinctly remember sitting in my little office on a snowy canadian winter’s day, calling a bookstore in Nairobi trying to find a copy of “The Maneaters of Tsavo”. It took me well over four months to source that book out, and the moment it arrived in my mailbox, the movie “The Ghost and the Darkness” was released, and along with it a new re-print of the famous Col. John Henry Patterson book!
I filled a library with wonderful books of African history in just this manner, and the few times I was lucky enough to go to Africa, my favorite thing was to pore through old bookstores looking for lost treasure.
I know what I am about to say is not politically correct, but I especially love the books on the white hunters who came and settled the land. So many of them turned into conservationists as time went on, their stories are truly inspiring and to this day I can lose myself in the pages of some of those books. While most girls my age were crushing over the latest pop star, or movie idol, I spent my time drooling over the likes of George Adamson, Robert Ruark, Colonel Patterson, and Peter Hathaway Capstick. The thought of sitting under the african stars, in front of the crackling fire, with sounds of wildlife all around is to me the stuff dreams are made of. So I thank you 23 Thorns. I thank you for writing something that got me up off my chair, away from my computer, and down to the basement. I took a good long time looking over my treasures, and brought a few back upstairs with me. And while I wait for the never ending Canadian winter to leave, I am happily transported to the African night, listening to the crackling fire, hearing the lions roar over the cicada’s songs, and living in a simpler time.