REAL LIFE IS STRANGER THAN FICTION.COM
This site is dedicated to sharing examples of
real life experiences that are of such a high
degree of improbability as to appear flatly unbelievable
with no plausible causal explanation.
For no particular reason around the second week of this last July, I decided to look into the provenance of a piece of modern furniture (late 40s, early 50s) made by someone who has become renowned for his work. The singular table has been in my family since I was very young.
So how does one go about documenting almost 60 years of continuous possession? There being no surviving bill of sale, I turned to the few family photos available. Unfortunately that proved not to be fruitful. There was only one other source that I could think of that might have a photo depicting the item. In the early 1960’s our family home was featured in a design industry trade magazine called Interiors. I could recall neither the exact year nor the month, so I just googled "Interiors Magazine" hoping that I might find some kind of an index, which could help me focus my search. I got over 2,500,000 hits. Everything with the word "interiors" showed up. Of course there was no way that I could investigate even a small part of 1% of that many hits. However, one did stand out. One copy of the magazine was being offered on Ebay.
I went on Ebay with little enthusiasm that one issue of the magazine would help me with my quest. But to my astonishment, I immediately recognized the cover of the one being offered. It was the October 1961 issue and it was exactly the one that I was looking for. I made the winning bid. When the magazine arrived I was further gratified to find that there was a photo that had indeed captured the table.
I was profoundly affected that I should find precisely what I was looking for in this way. So I contacted the seller and asked how she happened to have that particular issue. She responded that she had dozens of issues of the magazine and she "just picked" that one to offer for sale.
What are the odds that I should pick that particular week to start my investigation, that the item was offered that week and that the seller should just happen to pick that particular issue out of the many from which she might have chosen? What could produce such a coming together of so many random choices?
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