Found at a Metra station: The Invisible Man

There’s a bookshelf inside my local Metra terminal that’s used for book sharing.   The idea’s simple:  Read a book, then pass it on.

I’d rifled through the books before and never found anything worth a second glance; Harlequin romance novels, old textbooks, and outdated self-help books half-lined the shelves.  Nice idea, just nothing there worth picking up.

As I waited for my train yesterday, I again looked on the shelves.  To my surprise, there among the romance novels and Chemistry textbooks, sat one of my favorite books from childhood, “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury.  I hadn’t read it in decades, and the sight of it made me anxious to read those stories again.  I grabbed it and headed off to the train platform.
This paperback version is from 1967.  The pages are yellowed, but otherwise in fine shape.

When I opened up the cover I saw a handwritten signature.  An ink stamp at the bottom of the page read,

THIS WAS LEFT
FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE
IN REMEMBRANCE OF MY DAD
VINCENT M. LIZZO
“A
MAN WHO LOVED CHICAGO
AND ITS CITIZENS”

Someone close to this man, perhaps a son, daughter, spouse, or friend, thought to honor his memory by passing on a book (and I assume there were more than just this one) that he enjoyed.

I hovered over the man’s signature for a while before I dug into the book, as I contemplated a simple fact that we all tend to lose sight of.  Once we die, what we accomplished at work or school doesn’t really matter.  Vincent M. Lizzo reminded me that making a lasting, positive impact on family and friends is a true measure of success.

I Googled Vincent M. Lizzo and learned that he was a writer, with published articles in both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Reader.  

Most importantly, he was someone who was deeply cared about.  

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