Fast forward to last week. I am going through a pile of old pulp fiction paperbacks that I've kept around for years (mostly as decoration because the covers are so wonderfully lurid). Lately, though, I've been trying to whittle down my stuff, and so looked at the stack with an eye to getting rid of them. I decided I might as well read a few first, though, giving each one a few minutes, and if it wasn't interesting, to move onto the next. The first one I picked up was called "The Iron Spiders" by Baynard Kendrick It looked like this:
To my surprise, the story turned out to be set in the Florida Keys during the 1930s, and was a really fun read. So good, in fact, that I thought I might share a copy with my family members back in Florida. Unfortunately, though, the paper was so old that the book was practically falling apart in my hands as I read it. So I decided to look online and see if I could find another copy.
There are various websites I use for finding old books, and I typed in the author's name and found that he'd actually written a couple pulp novels set in the Sunshine State. But that's not what really shocked me. At the top of the list I saw a book called "A History of Florida's Forests." Something clicked, and I knew, just *knew* that this was somehow related to the manuscript I'd read at the library all those years ago.
A few clicks later, and I found this.
"In the 1960’s, Florida historian Baynard Kendrick was commissioned by the Florida Board of Forestry to write a history of Florida forestry. His manuscript has been brought up to date by Barry Walsh and the resulting A History of Florida Forests, documents the importance of Florida's forests in the state's development for 500 years."
Serendipity is a really cool thing sometimes.