“The Fathers,” Allen Tate, and Reenie

After reading Reenie’s recent journal entry entitled “Chance Encounters” about a woman she met today at rehab, I just had to jot down my small connection to her story here.

When I saw that her new friend Helen’s husband’s name was Allen Tate, that rang bells in my head — not clear bells at first but bells nonetheless. I clicked on the link she provided which took me to Allen Tate’s WikiPedia page and oh-boy-howdy… there it was, all about him. I quickly read down through the information and saw he had published one novel in his life called The Fathers which set off loud Notre-Dame-type bells ringing in my head. I have that book upstairs!

So I went up and found the book right there on the end of the top shelf of my bedside bookcase:

TheFathersAllenTate0001 ~ TheFathersAllenTate0002

I have had this book for many, many years. I can’t remember where I bought it but it was in a used book store around here most likely. I used to peruse those shops all the time back in the day.

Inside the front cover is this inscription:

“For Constance, her own copy; only the autograph is Allen’s _______ February 24, 1948”


and the rest:



TheFathersAllenTate0007 ~ TheFathersAllenTate0011

Kip and I were marveling over what we’d just learned about this old book.




So there we are.

We were all pretty darned impressed with this news.

As to the inscription page, I don’t find another page with the author’s signature or autograph, so I’m assuming this was his personal inscription to “Constance,” whomever that may be, when he gave her a copy of his book on Feb. 24, 1948, which, by the way, was exactly two months and several days before I was born!

Here’s page 1 of the book just to whet your whistle:


I just looked in the back cover of this book and it was a library book – it was withdrawn from the Marine Corps University Library in Quantico, VA, but no date is given. So I am assuming, again, that “Constance” somehow had given it to a local library when she was done with it or had passed away maybe. It appears to be a First Edition.

So that is so cool! Remember that phrase “Six Degrees of Separation” ? This must be an example of that somehow.

Reenie, thanks for making my otherwise lackluster day a much more interesting one and one in which I found something to write about here in this plodding journal of mine other than food and dogs.


Now I have another book to add to my stack down here.

Cheers for the ties that bind….


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8 Responses to “The Fathers,” Allen Tate, and Reenie

  1. Bex says:

    That painting, Reens, was a fluke. I went thru a phase where I just had to paint. I used only oils which made quite the mess for me. I had to paint on the dining room table and had to clean it all up every time. I hate cleaning up. If I had a nice sunny room devoted to crafts and painting etc., I would do it more. But now that I can hardly get around on my legs, it’s all just too much. That’s why doing needlepoint is more my speed now. That picture was done while looking at a postcard I’d brought back from Scotland on my honeymoon… I changed things in it like the tree and the pond etc. I did a few more pictures but finally gave up. Maybe in my next lifetime…


  2. Reenie says:

    I’m just now having some coffee after a long night’s rest, and am tickled with this post. A I commented at my site, Tate is iconic at The University of the South (Sewanee)so that’s why I knew of him. I have never picked up a book of his, but plan to!

    Now! Far more interesting is the painting you posted. It’s AMAZING. Years ago I painted a similar one, but yours is infinitely more delicious. You should pull out the paints – seriously! Do it Bex! Pretty please. Tis canvas is wonderful. xoxo


  3. ~ Sil in Corea says:

    That really is a case of “X” degrees of separation! We’re all a lot closer than we know, to everyone in the world. I hope to read that book one day. I love history-based stories. Have a great day!


  4. mz. em says:

    What fun to find connections.


  5. Bex says:

    TT: I got that spread online really to use as a sofa cover because of the dogs in the living room. I bought two of them in differing patterns/colours, and one is colorful stripes which is on the sofa now, and the other was that one with patchwork – which isn’t real patchwork just a print – but it’s reversible to one pretty floral print of yellow and lilac on the other side so I thought it would go well in my yellow-walled bedroom upstairs… Unfortunately it’s only a twin as that’s the size that fits the sofa for the cover-up, and my bed is a double size, but it’s OK for me. I take it off at night anyway. I love the colors too.


  6. TopsyTurvy says:

    That’s really neat.

    Now, dear Bex, I’d like to hear about the patchwork quilt that is sitting under your two lovely pups. I love the colors and fabrics. Where’s it from?


  7. Eric Mayer says:

    Wild coincidence. Neat.


  8. sandy freel says:

    “WOW”…Nice to recall it and now read it šŸ™‚


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