Saturday, June 21, 2008

Who is this mystery man?

I'm talking about Francis Gay, the man writes the Friendship Books which come out each year. I think they must be sold around the world so most people might know them. The books with the little purple covers entitled, "Friendship Book for (whatever year it is)" Inside there is a thought, quotation, small story or reflection for each day of the year. He lives somewhere in the English countryside and calls his wife the "Lady of the House."

I used to collect Friendship Books in my teens, but sold them at a market several years ago to make space on my shelf. Still, a few filter their way into the house from time to time. At the start of the year, when I saw the 2008 one for sale I started thinking he must surely be getting a bit old. I used to own one for my year of birth, 1969 and he's still churning them out!

But what really fascinated me this week was reading the fly leaf of a 1995 Friendship Book. It said they've been "delighting readers since 1939." He's more than old! He must be ancient! I figured out that if he started writing them when he was 20, because it seems incredible that he would've been any younger, he'd have to be just about 90 now and still on the job. Thinking of something uplifting to say for every single day from 1939 til 2008 is a pretty impressive feat.

I looked him up on internet but couldn't find any articles, or anything at all much about him, so he must also be fairly modest, humble and elusive. Pretty weird when you think about it, that after all this time, not so much as one photograph has been circulated. Surely his inspiration must run dry one day, but I'll be sorry not to them for sale each year.


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  2. These books sound intriguing but I've never heard of them. Having one from one's birth year would be a nice keepsake.

    How is the pumpkin? Have you given it a name? I'm sorry to say I have no pumpkin recipe except for the pie recipe printed on the can of pumpkin we buy in the fall. I know you can just as well use home-stewed pumpkin for any canned pumpkin recipe but I'm not sure if the measurements would be the same. Canned pumpkin is more dense and less watery, I think anyway. One warning - you must sieve the cooked pumpkin or you'll end up with a stringy product. Todd knows this from his grandmother's pies. I remember my sister making this mistake as well though I don't remember eating her pie. I've seen quick bread recipes using pumpkin. (American explanation - quick bread is like banana bread or cranberry bread - it's sweet and dense. I didn't know if Aussies use the same name!)

    Have a good weekend!

  3. Is it possible there are many authors publishing under his name, like the Nancy Drew mysteries?

    And if not, maybe we've found the secret of longevity--writing inspirational day-by-day books!

    Peace and Laughter,