Graham's True Stories
Number 14, The Forgotten
We'd called at the little New England antiques barn miles off the beaten track and, over the cup of coffee with the charming senior-citizen couple who owned the store (I think callers were pretty rare) we went through the spiel about the type of sewing machines we were looking for.
The lady revealed she had a machine which sounded interesting, but it was at her home and we couldn't get at it for a couple of days. As we were going home the next day, we took the address and promised to write.
Here is where I hang my head in shame. We lost the notebook with the address and had many pangs thinking about the couple and what they must think of the Englishman who didn't keep his word.
For the next couple of years we tried to find the barn again, but with no address and only a hazy recollection of the area, we never located it.
Eight years went by and, I hang my head again, to report that we had forgotten completely about the deal.
Then one Fall, when chasing a lead about an old typewriter in New Hampshire, we passed a barn that looked familiar. There was no "antiques sign" but we both felt we had been there before.
I parked the car near the rusty plough and the barn door opened and a couple appeared. Then it all came back. Resisting the urge to flee in shame, we got out of the car and walked over, ready for almost any rebuke.
It was the woman who spoke first.
"Hello", she said, "we've got your sewing machine in the back room ready for you".
How can you not love people like that?