Why the Internet is cool

I heard, out of the blue, from a curious descendant of one of my literary heroes yesterday.

Walker Percy‘s grandson (living in Houston) had seen an old post about my visit to a “teahouse” gazebo his grandfather and young Shelby Foote (the great Civil War historian) constructed in the late ’30’s, near the University of the South at Sewanee, TN. Theirs was an inspiring friendship, nearly lifelong, and an impressive correspondence.

The grandson doesn’t know where the teahouse is, though he has a picture of it;  nor (he says) did anyone at Walker’s widow’s recent funeral know its whereabouts, either.

In 1996 my wife looked for an autumn weekend rental near Monteagle and Sewanee for us to share with her parents. In the process, and quite inadvertently (never having read Percy herself) she booked us into the property on Brinkwood Lane overlooking Lost Cove, formerly owned by Walker’s own grandpa.

You can’t imagine how thrilled I was, back then, to stand for this photo… nor how thrilled I am now to provide a missing link to the heirs of a writer I admire so greatly.

PercyFooteSewaneeTeahouse

See, that’s what I’m always going on about: the “continuous human community” in which we all are links. It means a lot.

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