Mary Peace Finley
Award-winning author of books for young people
© Mary Peace Finley 2012
Strange Serendipities (cont.)
I started to work through the material, charting dates, events, trying to find a real story line,
but the facts were not enough. This happened, that happened, but what led from one event to the
next? I needed to know the whys. What motivated the actions of that fateful night of May 22,
1886? I was missing the "glue" to hold the story together. Without it, I couldn't write this story. It
would be historical fiction.
The personalities, conversations, and daily details of the characters would, of course, be my
invention, but I was determined to follow the actual events as closely as possible. Disappointed, I
had to admit that I'd reached a dead end and put the project away.
Then one evening a few weeks later, Wally and I were relaxing in the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool,
and there he was! Ted Applegate had returned! For months, he'd been RV-ing. "Ted! Could you
come for dinner tomorrow night? I'd like to talk with you about Blackwell Station."
Ted did come for dinner, and delivered the greatest surprise yet. Unbelievable as it may
seem, Ted turned out to be the real-life grandson of the viewpoint character in my story,
Although Ted was a young boy when his grandmother and family talked about the midnight ride of
Blackwell Station and the founding of Lamar, he provided the glue that was missing---insights into