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The Card In The Suit Pocket

June 6, 2011

Some of you have heard this before but it is the only ghost story I have or know. I’ll try and keep it short.

This is true:

When I was a sophomore in college I had a formal event to go to and needed a tux. I was over at a friend’s one day, and she told me she needed to get her roomate a birthday present, and suggested we go over to an antique and vintage clothing and jewlry store a few blocks away. I told her I might find a tux there, so we went.

As my friend looked at costume jewlry in several cases, I went back to the men’s section of the small store and looked for a tuxedo. I did not find one, at least not one I liked.

But I did find a classic, pinstripe suit, black with gray stripes. I liked it, and looked at the price. $42. Something I could afford and I could use a suit anyway (I was in a couple of student organizations that called for a suit from tim to time). I tried it on, and except for the pants meeding some hemming, it fit well.

I bought the suit and took it home (alas, alas, I lived at home during college). I told my mom about the suit, and she asked to see it. So we went up to my room and I showed her the suit, and tried on the jacket.

My mom was checking the jacket out, feeling the quality of the lining, that kind of thing, and she reached into the pocket and pulled out a small card.

There were words typed on it.

My mom looked very, very confused and asked me where I had gotten it. I told her I got the suit at a shop downtown, and she asked, no, where did you get this, showing me the card.

I read the words on the card.

And I felt the blood run from my face.

I told her I’d never seen it before. She told me I must have. I swore I’d never seen it before, and if it was in the suit, it was in the suit when I bought it. She said that was impossible. We went back and forth like this for a few minutes. My mom was confused and freaked out.

The next day I went back to the shop where I had purchased the suit, and went to the counter and spoke with the woman there. I asked her where she got her clothes. She told me that she got a lot from thrift stores, places like that. She also told me that her sister owned a similar store in Ohio.

I started to go a little numb then.

“Where in Ohio?” I asked.

“Chillicothe.”

I know I went numb then. It was the numbness that comes when learning that something that is almost impossible has happened.

I went numb because I was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, a few miles from Chillicothe. My father was also born and raised in Portsmouth.

In 1969, almost eight months before I was born, my father doed in a boating accident on the Ohio River. His name was Bill Atkinson. I never met him.

The card in the pocket of the suit jacket was a membership card in the Nationsal Honor Society.

According to the card, it had been issued in Portsmouth, Ohio. To William K. Atkinson.

I had purchased my father’s suit.

Twenty years and 500 miles after his death, at a random shop unconnected withanything else in my life, I had purchased my father’s suit.

– Posted by LarsThorwald; Fark

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