T. Michael Moseley and my Bookstore Find

May 16, 2017

Michael Moseley was a general in the United States Air Force. He was also, at one point in his career, the vice chief of staff and was headquartered in Washington D.C.

I know this because I found his business card in a hardback copy of Jeff Shaara’s World War I novel, “To The Last Man.” I imagine the card might have been used as a bookmark, maybe by General Moseley, or maybe by someone else. Both the card and the book are in good shape.

One of the reasons I love buying used hardback books is because you find treasures in so many. Inscriptions if it was given as a gift, notes in the margins, or things (often flowers or cards) pressed between the pages, but now long forgotten. I became curious about who this man might be and wrote him at the email address on the card. It was kicked back as an inactive account.

So I took the next, obvious, step and looked him up on Wikipedia. It turns out that in 2005 (which means the card I found is more than a decade old) Moseley became the 18th chief of staff of the United States Air Force, a position he held until he was forced to retire in 2008 by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, following a number of Air Force scandals that occurred on his watch. Previous to that, Moseley, a Texas boy, had been a fighter pilot, with almost 3,000 hours in the air.

Anyway, I guess I’ll never know if General Moseley and I shared a love for Jeff Shaara novels, or what he’s doing now. But, once again, the purchase of a used hardback book ($2 at the Thousand Oaks Goodwill store) has provided entertainment and enjoyment, even beyond the written word.

As some of my books, most recently “Coyote Courage,” start to get a little circulation, I wonder if one day, years from now, someone will pick up an old copy of “Coyote Courage” and find a business card, or a love letter, pressed between the pages – and if so, what the story behind it will be. For now, I think I’ll head back down to Goodwill, my $2 bucks in hand, and see what the next adventure might be.