I, of course, headed for the Films section to find something on Charlie Chaplin. There were only three books, and I had them all. I finished looking through the Film section, segued over to Military History, specifically the 3 big wars: Civil, Great, WWII. Dozens I'd like to read but knew I never would. Pass. A quick walk-by in the fiction department, then decided to get back to my son.
On the way towards the front door, I glanced into a glass case which held some "special" books... either rare or signed or hard to find. The price tags on them ranged from $50 up. And that's when I saw it. "The Films of Mary Pickford" by Raymond Lee. Signed by Mary.
The connection to Chaplin is certainly familiar to you. Mary, with Doug Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, and Charlie formed United Artists in 1919. It marked the first time movie stars took control of producing and distributing their own films. Some historians credit Mary with the initial idea to form the company. Chaplin, unfortunately, was still under contract to First National. It would be four years before he could contribute a film to United Artists. Chaplin eventually sold his interest in UA in 1955 after his move to Switzerland, but he maintained ownership of the films he made for them.
Fortune sometimes smiles on us at the most unexpected times. If my son had not stopped at the pub for tacos, if I had wanted to watch some baseball game on the TV sets there instead of taking a walk, if I hadn't turned to look into that glass case, I would not have been able to put a signed Mary Pickford book on the shelf next to my Chaplin books.