As I was closing up our Little Free Library (“LFL”) for the night, I noticed that several paperbacks had been recently added to the top shelf. Now, because this is a “take one leave on” library, that is not unusual. However, one particular book, yellowed from age, caught my attention. The inscription read: Ms. C, Storey House, Stanford California. The Storey house is an undergraduate resident theme house for Human Biology at Stanford University. That certainly piqued my husband’s interest. For me, it was a typed two-page letter dated June 1st, 1949 signed Devotedly, Daddy, that prompted me to continue to find out just who is Ms. C.
It took very little time to track down an obituary of the former owner of the book. Ms. C died in August of last year. From Los Angeles, she spent the last of her years in Newport Beach in a home just around the corner where my husband works.
She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford in the 1950’s. She was one of three women who graduated in 1959 from law school at Stanford. After university, Ms. C joined the Foreign Service and served in Germany. Secretary to the Ambassador of Korea, she shared planes and helicopters with quite a few dignitaries. Her obituary reads like a piece out of women’s history, a lady breaking the glass ceiling. After passing the bar, Ms. C returned to Irvine looking for work in a prestigious law firm. Ultimately she was hired by California Attorney General and then moved to Washing to work as an attorney for the Peace Corps, the Department of Labor and the Smithsonian.
She later married, (C became B) moved to Newport Beach and raised her children.
The letter from Daddy revealed a funny, sweet side to a man who loved his wife, children and family. The letter most definitely held a special place to H & J, to whom it was addressed. Was it Ms. B or one of the children who placed the letter in the paperback?
Oh, the paperback… written by the father of Modern Philosophy, seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and a proponent of rationalism, believing strongly in fact and deductive reasoning: Meditations and Selections from the Principles of Philosophy.