Eden Prairie PROP Shop volunteer Ace Palm made a surprising discovery recently as she went through items to be put on display for sale.
The story starts more than 100 years ago when Ace Palm’s father James Johnstone received a book for his outstanding Bible knowledge. Palm’s parents James and Sophia were from Scotland. Palm estimates that her father was about 8 years old at the time, so it would have been 1898.
The book traveled with them from Scotland.
“It was always in our home,” Palm said.
The name of the book? “Seven Times in the Fire.”
Palm said, “As a girl I thought that was such an odd name.”
After her parents died, she kept the book in a bookcase.
“Ace had the book for all of her life until 35 years ago, when her daughters accidentally sent her book, with other items, to the local Goodwill,” described PROP Shop Board Chair Deb Karulf in an email.
Palm and her husband were in Florida one winter, and their daughters decided to clean their Wayzata house. The book went, with other books, to Hopkins.
“Ace was heartbroken her book was gone, and she never expected to see it again,” Karulf wrote.
See it she did, in that group of items she was preparing for resale at the PROP Shop.
Ace volunteers every Tuesday and Saturday at the store. She saw a book that looked like hers.
“To Ace’s amazement, when she looked inside, she saw, miraculously, that it was her long lost book,“ Karulf wrote. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The sheer joy on Ace’s face was a memorable delight.”
“I opened up the book and there was my dad’s name, James Johnstone,” Palm said. “I just sobbed.”
“I believe in miracles,” Palm said.
Where is the book today?
“On my coffee table,” Palm said.
She said the pages and cover are still in excellent condition.
So what is “Seven Times in the Fire” about anyway?
Palm doesn’t know, she said.
“I’ve never read it,” she laughed.