An Old Soul’s Parting Words
Read this remembrance for a Farm Collector writer who died from COVID-19.
Aware that for many of you Farm Collector is a magazine offering escape from today’s world into a time that exists only in memory, we have done our best to keep the global pandemic out of it. Certainly the logistics of show schedules and mail delivery have necessitated the occasional mention, but otherwise we try to stay on message.
In this issue, sadly, that is not possible, in that one of our own has fallen victim to the virus. Anthony Lovelace, known to many of you as the author of the “Back Roads” column published every other month in Farm Collector, died Dec. 13 at age 50.
Our acquaintance with Anthony was short. His first column, Looking for the Past Along America’s Back Roads for Farm Collector appeared in our January 2020 issue. In that first piece, he described himself as an old soul. “It seems like I am in a time and place where I don’t really belong,” he wrote. “I find myself constantly searching for something that will connect me to a time before I was born.”
Decades-old photos and postcards often seemed to do the trick for him. Anthony examined old images as thoroughly and deliberately as a scientist studies cells. He also loved small towns, baseball, AM radio, ranching and travel. “As far back as memory carries me, I have had a desire to wander,” he wrote in that first Farm Collector column. “I have never seen any part of the U.S. that I did not think was beautiful.”
By all accounts, Anthony was as rooted in the present as he was wistful for a past he’d never known. As an adult, he’d always had a small herd of cattle. He was devoted to his wife and family. And yet, in his heart he was a wanderer, one who periodically suffered from what he called “itchy feet.”
Just a short time before he became ill, Anthony wrote what would be his final column, Traveling Back to 1908 for Farm Collector. It appears in this issue. It ended the way all of his columns did, with a gentle benediction: “Remember to take time out of your busy schedule and enjoy the view from the back roads.”
Words of wisdom from an old soul. Happy trails, Anthony, until we meet again. FC
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