Mother had passed away several weeks ago. She had lived a long and productive life. Living to the age of 90 seemed to run in the family. Mother had been a woman of spirit and until her heart finally gave out, she continually stayed active. She had always said that I was just like her. And she had been just like her mother and grandmother. Generations of health, spirit, strength, and long life. Each generation had managed to find a strong, handsome man to love and be loved. Well, all except one, and that was me. At 40 years of age, I had managed to break the tradition of matrimony, still being single.
I really dreaded this moment. Being the only child, all the responsibilities and the funeral and clearing out all the possessions fell on me. In just those few short weeks, I had managed to find new homes for a majority of household and clothing items. I had not decided what to do with the house or furniture. I myself had a small apartment, and being in this house again, well, it brought back so many memories. I am seriously thinking about keeping it and living here. It would work out just fine for me and commuting to work.
I had already been on leave for several weeks, and decided after one more week, I would go back to work. I had a few more areas to clean up, and I wanted to at least work in the yard, and get it in ship shape.
The attic had been left to itself for years, no one ever attempting to disrupt the dust that had accumulated. I pulled my long auburn hair up on top of my head. My T-shirt and jeans would be perfect for this clean up task. I started moving boxes and old chests around, dreading all the work associated with it.
It was so dusty that I decided to open the attic window. After opening it, I stared out the window. It was a beautiful spring day. The neighbor next door had moved in a few years ago and had become very good friends with my mom. Like her, he had been widowed for several years, and he and mom had become very good friends. Hearing a lawn mower, I leaned farther out. Mom said her neighbor was a very active, healthy man. All I know is he had been by my side during the entire funeral, clearly caring for my mom very much. He was a striking older man and in his youth, I could imagine how extremely handsome he would have been. But the man that came around the corner was not mom's neighbor. Mom had said that he had a son, not married, I might like to meet. She never gave up. And of course from my conversation with mom's friend, well, he seemed so insistent that I meet his son. From a distance, this younger man was a man who clearly kept in shape. With his shirt off, his tanned skin glistened from sweat. His hair was slightly long, and even from this distance, he looked extremely handsome. He stopped to pull out a bandana to wipe his forehead. As he did, he happened to glance up and see me. He smiled and waved. I smiled and waved back. He had a beautiful smile.
I turned knowing that I needed to get busy. Sitting in an old chair, I started going through an old chest that had been given to mom years ago not long after my grandmother had died. It had belonged to my great grandmother, who carried that chest with her everywhere. At one time, it had been loaded with all the items required for photographing. My great grandmother had worked for many years on the Presidential staff during the late 1800's. One of the few women who were even considered good enough or smart enough to handle this type of job.
Near the bottom of the chest, under piles of wrapped clothing, was an old log book, clearly aged by time and dust. No one had ever mentioned about this old chest, probably forgotten over time. As I opened it and turned the pages, beautifully scripted words flowed from line to line, telling of a time long ago, when the west was still wild and untamed, and about a woman who by herself, traveled around the country, trying to capture all of the west in it's glory. This was my great grandmother, Sidney Kileen, who through hard work and determination, made a place for herself in a time where women grew old and tired before their time.
As my fingers touched each word, I wished I could have met her. I had only known a little about her as I was her name sake, Sidney Kileen Branson. Yet, as I read her words, I felt more in touch with her than ever before.
|I have started keeping this log so that if I ever
am blessed with husband and children, that I can pass on something about
my life. At 35 years old, I had traveled all over the country with notebook
in hand and photography equipment packed and ready. Father, mother, and I
had traveled for many years long before that. Father had worked for many
years on the Presidential staff, taking pictures and such, and even when
I was nearly not so big, I helped him. Years after mother and father had
passed on, I carried on the tradition with each changing President. Although,
in my alone years, the President and staff felt that a woman alone was not
a good thing and decided I should stick to taking pictures of cabinet members
and dinners and such. I was bored and depressed. I wanted and needed to be
outdoors and travel -- not stick around with pompous, old men who bored me
to tears, and stuffy dinners with high society women. It took a lot of doing,
but I was able to convince the President that I would serve him much better
by bringing back to him all the wonders of the country.
I'll never forget that day. I marched right past his assistant and into his office. Leaning back in his chair, he smiled at me. "Now Miss Kileen, we have been over this before. A young lady should not be out on her own in the wilderness. I do admit that you are very good at what you do, even better than your father if that is possible. All of the Presidents he and you have been under appreciate your artistic abilities, but, again, your father would also not approve of you going out alone on your own. At least, if you had a husband who could travel with you, you would be better off. The answer is no, Miss Kileen. The answer is no."
"But Sir, the country is growing fast. And all too soon, the west might be gone and all it's beauties and wildness gone with it. You said yourself I was the best. Who best to capture the current beauty and glory of the country and it's people and continue to capture it through its changes. Sir, I need to be out. And I hate to say this, Sir, but, if you are not willing to send me around the country side and take photographs, I have no other alternative but to ask to be relieved of my duties. I have no other recourse."
The President sat there, looking sternly at me but with a slight softness in his eyes. "Your family has worked on the Presidential staff long before I took the oval office. It wouldn't be the same without you, Sidney." We both were at a standstill. He started tapping the desk with his fingers. "If I agree to let you do this, will you follow my itinerary?"
I had a feeling I would regret agreeing with him, but I really didn't want to loose my job, and I really needed to show that I was willing to negotiate. This way I might get most of what I wanted and needed. "Mr. President, I agree to your terms, although I have a feeling you are up to something."
He smiled and I agreed to come back the next afternoon. When I did, he presented to me a well planned out picture taking guide. I was very pleased. I was to communicate with his cabinet personnel on a regular basis and had points of contacts all over the country. I thanked him and turned and walked out. Little did I know that my entire life would be changed by my hardheadedness and his determination. But I did walk out with a smile.
In the late 1800's the west was still wild. In my travels, I had met up with very interesting people and had been to very interesting places. I continually had to send for supplies which slowed my pace slightly. Everything was worth it's weight in pictures. And the countryside in the west was absolutely breathtaking. I had recently been in touch with a Judge Travis, a close friend of the Vice President. After contacting the Judge, my plans were set to arrive in a small town called Four Corners. Knowing I needed more supplies, I placed a large order to be delivered to that town. I would probably arrive before them, but spending a few days, with the supplies I still had would suffice until my order came in. During my conversation with Judge Travis, he spoke of his daughter in law, Mary Travis, who I should get in touch with as soon as I got into town.
Writing in my log would have to continue later due to the dust and bouncing this stage coach is producing.
Mary Travis walked toward the saloon. Her father in law had sent her a telegram about her impending visitor and his request for guide around the countryside. Mary pushed aside the saloon doors, and approached a small group of men she was very familiar with. "Gentlemen." Chris, Josiah, Buck, Ezra, and Vin, all tipped their hats with a "Mary." Chris was the one to speak. "Mary, you look like you are on a mission. Anything we can do to help?" "Well, I just received this wire from the Judge. He said that a Presidential photographer would be arriving here in Four Corners and wanted a guide to assist him. Vin, the Judge asked that you help this Sidney Kileen, when he arrives. The photographer should be here for quite a few months, and will need your help in showing him around the area."
Vin nodded. "When does this fella arrive?" "Well, according to the Judge's letter, the stage should be arriving in a day or two." Mary turned after thanking Vin. Vin just shook his head. "This oughta be a real treat taking some fancy pants who probably can't ride a horse, all over."
Ezra just laughed. He was familiar with that name. He had come across Sidney Kileen in New Orleans some time back, while she was with her father. He wasn't about to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, about Sidney being a girl. He remembered her being a gangly, little thing, bright red hair, and full of questions. He was just a young man when he met Mr. Kileen and his daughter. He had wanted to take photographs of the gamblers, and Ezra was very accommodating, for a price. That girl had continually asked questions and hung around him all afternoon. They left town several days later. Funny, he should remember them from so long ago. Mr. Tanner could experience the awe of having to cart around some funny little girl. Maybe it would make the man lighten up a bit.
|Well, here I am in this town called Four Corners. I will finish up this entry and go see Mary Travis, so I can get busy. I am so looking forward to photographing this town and its surroundings. From my observation, the town looks like it is on its way to becoming a bustling community. Some of the stores are still boarded up, but others look like they have been recently fixed up. I noticed a small little church down the street." Looking out her hotel window, Sidney looked down to the street. Town life pictures would be great and that little church offered some beautiful pictures.|
Sidney left her hotel room and headed over to the paper to meet Mrs. Travis. She was really impressed that a woman, especially out west, had taken on the responsibility of running the town paper. She liked her already. Opening the door to the paper, Sidney spied a beautiful blond hair woman and a very handsome buckskin clad man. Walking over to them both, Sidney extended her hand.
"Hello, I am looking for Mary Travis. My name is Sidney. Sidney Kileen." She hand was still extended but no one made a move. Mary looked totally shocked and then smiled. Vin just stood there at first. Mary was the first to speak. "Uh, hello, I'm Mary Travis. Welcome to Four Corners. I'm sorry I looked so shocked but the Judge never told me, never told me that you were a woman."
Sidney just smiled. "Well, to be fair to the Judge, I didn't tell him either. I only communicated with him by telegraph, so he would not know, and I really didn't think it a necessary thing to tell him." As she was speaking, Sidney occasionally glanced over to the handsome man.
Mary cleared her throat. "Oh I am sorry. This is Vin Tanner. He is your guide as long as you're here." Sidney turned to Vin, and extended her hand. Vin tipped his hat with a "Ma'am" never acknowledging the extended hand. He was clearly surprised and somewhat perturbed at this turn of events.
Realizing the problem her sex had to do with the situation, Sidney spoke. "I am sorry for the confusion, but really I have been doing this type of work for years, and I am very good. I won't be a burden on anyone. In fact, I can really go on my own. I don't need a guide for I am quite capable of handling myself. But I do appreciate your assignment but I won't hold you to it if I make you uncomfortable."
The silence was deadly. Just when Vin started to say something, the door opened and in walked Ezra. What he had expected was a little girl, forgetting about the length of time since he had seen Sidney. What he saw was a woman, and a very pretty one to boot.
"Well, well, ladies, surely this can't be the gangly little girl that traveled with her father taking pictures? Don't know if you remember me, but years ago, you decided that a gambler needed the company of a little girl full of questions who decided that hanging around a card table would be much more fun than taking pictures."
At first Sidney couldn't place the fancy dressed man. Then she remembered. "I think it was in New Orleans, wasn't it? You still wear your fancy coats, and do you still have the gun mechanism attached to your arm. It seems to me that you had good reason that afternoon to pull it, and as you sat staring the other gentleman down, father had taken the photograph of you. That was ages ago. Have I not changed that much that you recognize me."
Ezra smiled. "My dear, no one person of your fair sex has ever crossed my path with such enticing red hair and turned up nose. No, you are not an easy young lady to forget. If anything, you wore my ears off with all your questions. Now ladies, if you'll excuse me, I think our Mr. Tanner needs to discuss his plans with this lovely young lady. After all, she is one of the President's special persons and one must not keep the President waiting. Until latter."
With that Ezra bid a good day and turned and walked out. Sidney smiled. "From what I can remember of him, he was a good gambler, and the man that was opposite of him that afternoon was lucky. He had been cheating, and he was caught at it. Father said that it was one of his best shots. The intense look and determination was not staged and made quite a stir in Washington." Seeing how uncomfortable Mr. Tanner seemed to be, Sidney turned to him. "Mr. Tanner, if you would like to meet me at the hotel for dinner later on, maybe we could discuss our dilemma." He agreed and Sidney turned and left.
"Mary, I can't cart no woman all over the place. Just ain't right and all. Maybe you should find someone else to do it, like Ezra. He knows her."
"Vin, the Judge really wanted you to show him, uh, her around. He knows you being a good tracker and all, well, I'm sure you and Miss Kileen can work it out." Vin mumbled and bid his goodbye to Mary. This was not going to be easy. He hadn't been too thrilled in the first place, and now, it involving this woman, well, it weren't gonna be no picnic. No. No picnic at all.
|Just a short note in my log. I met my guide today.
I don't think he will be willing to show me around, but I really don't care.
I like being on my own and having a guide wasn't my idea in the first place.
Tomorrow morning I'll check into getting a horse and mule to carry my supplies.
Met a man today that I hadn't seen in a long time. Met him years ago with
father. I remember sticking to him like glue. I was not quite 17 years old,
and dressed like I was, no one would know I was that old. But I had a school
girl crush on this gambler who was young and handsome and very good with
the cards. But he had only seen a little girl. And after spending all afternoon
with him, father and I had to pick up and leave. And here he was, and he
remembered me. And the man is probably more handsome than he had been years
I can't seem to get this man, Vin Tanner, out of my mind. He would be a good subject to shoot. His eyes are a beautiful blue. Clear as the morning sky. He is of normal height and well built as much as I could tell. His hair is light brown and down just past his shoulders. His clothes are that of a man who spends his time in the wilderness and alone. But I remember his eyes the most. They are a piercing blue. Eyes that would bore right through you. I have to go now. Am having dinner with him. Some how I have the feeling he won't be guiding me anywhere. He didn't seem too pleased about me being a woman. Well, too bad. He still would make a good subject for photographs. I really like Mary Travis too. She is a beautiful and intelligent woman. Also noteworthy of photographs. Well, off for now.
Sidney closed the book and pondered on what her great grandmother had written. She had written this over 100 years ago but it seemed like she was there. She had always wondered what it would be like to live back then, and reading this log book, well, she felt she was reliving the past. Sidney knew she needed to get busy. The attic was full of things that needed to be gone through, but she couldn't help opening the book back up and continue reading.
|Met Mr. Tanner in the hotel diner to discuss our situation. At the beginning, it didn't go too well, but, well, with my determination, we seemed to come to an agreement.|
Sidney sat at a table, not patiently waiting for her dinner partner. She didn't even know if this man would show up. She smoothed her dress. God, why did she feel compelled to put this dress on. She should have just shown up in her shirt and pants. Show this man that being a woman would not get in his way. She felt she had waited long enough, patience not being one of her attributes. Through the door Vin Tanner appeared. Walking up to Sidney, he apologized for being somewhat late.
"Mr. Tanner, I have the feeling you are not pleased with the fact that I am a woman. Again, you don't really need to guide me around, for I am quite capable of being on my own."
There was something about her that Vin couldn't put his foot on. In looking her over, he knew she was a woman who could take care of herself. She looked strong and determined. She sure was pretty and her red hair and green dress reminded him of an autumn sunset. But this was business, and he needed to think in those terms. Woman or not, he had a job to do and he would do it. She even might be interesting to be around. "Miss Kileen. First of all, it ain't safe for a woman to be on her own around here. At least riding all over the countryside. Just felt roped into somethin' that I should've known beforehand. Like to know everything up front, so's I can plan. But if Mary feels you can handle it, well, I trust her feelings. She seems to think you could handle anything."
Sidney closely examined this man as he talked. Yes, he would an interesting addition to her normal travels. "This Mary Travis, she your sweetheart? Because if she is I can assure you and her that I am here for a job and that's all." Now why did I say that? What difference did it make to me if she and him were together.
Vin laughed. "Naw, Mary and I real good friends, that's all. Not married and no woman caring for." Now why did he need to make sure this little red head woman knew that up front. He weren't interested in relationships, and woman in general were always looking to hog tie a man to marry. So why did he care that this woman know he was available.
|Here we are, the sun is setting. We traveled quite
a lot today, and I wanted to take some pictures as it starts to get dark.
Mr. Tanner shot a rabbit for dinner and it was really good. He has really
been an interesting person to talk with. He told me somewhat of his past
and how he got involved with the other six men who protect the town. I did
recall a magazine being written about the "Magnificent Seven." Never realized
until today that this was the same men the magazine had been about. I plan
on taking quite a lot of pictures of everything, including these men. Might
be a good addition to the history books for people to read and talk about
down the road. I know the President will be very interested on how lands
and people are protected. Gosh, the beauty of the country is beyond belief.
Even pictures doesn't do it justice.
Being around this man for days on end will certainly be a pleasure. He is not only devastatingly handsome, but smart and clever. I'm going to hate to leave eventually knowing I'll never see or talk with him again. I'll regret that loss of this relationship, especially after the kiss. We were standing there on the hill, looking at the sunset...
"Sure is purty, ain't it." Vin and Sidney were standing side by side. The air had chilled slightly and Sidney hugged herself. She had been lost in her thoughts. "Yes, yes it is. You know it's a shame that I can't capture the colors on the pictures. That would really be something if the pictures would show all the colors we see with our eyes." Vin was smiling, looking at this beautiful, young woman. "Yeah, you sure do miss somethin' without the colors."
Vin realized Sidney was apparently chilly. Taking his coat off, he wrapped it around her shoulders. "Here ya go. Get's a little cool out here at night." Thanking him, Sidney started talking again. "Years ago, I went up into the Rocky Mountains to get some pictures of the snows. I went by myself, and got caught in one hell of a snow storm. Almost froze to death. Closest I had ever come to not making it. All I remembered was being so cold and numb. My mule had frozen to death, so knowing I was going to die, I just laid right down next to that mule, curled into a ball. Next thing I remember, is waking up to the smell of stew and the heat from a fire. After clearing my eyes, I noticed a man, dressed kinda like you, stirring the pot on the fire. He turned and smiled at me. He was just a little older than me, and had been in those mountains for some time. But he was very much the gentleman, and nursed me back to health. When the snows let up somewhat, he helped me in getting my pictures I needed. We spent months together but we knew it would not last and we parted. Never seen him since, but I remember his kindness, his warmth. He was a lot like you."
Vin turned Sidney around to face him. He was drawn to her. She was drawn to him. He pulled her close to him, lips touching lips. He held her tighter. It was a moment in time that made everything stand still. They had only just known each other for a short time but he felt they felt they had found what each one had been searching for.
As Sidney read on, her grandmother had written how she and Vin had made love through the night. And it continued through her stay in Four Corners. My God, the love they had for each other, surely nothing would interfere. But Sidney knew from her family tree that a Mr. Vin Tanner was not anywhere in it. Reading further on Sidney got her answer...
|I have finished my responsibilities here in Four Corners. In fact, I have overstayed and had been due back to Washington months ago. The photos I have gotten are by far the best ever taken. My relationship with Mr. Tanner is my most difficult problem. Leaving a place had never been a problem until now. I don't know how to handle this situation. Mr. Tanner, Vin, has affected me like I have never been affected before. And I don't know how he feels either. When we make love, it's like no one or no place exists other than us. This is a dangerous feeling...|
"Sidney, we haven't talked about it, but I know you had planned on leaving some time ago. We need to talk now." Vin and Sidney had ridden out of town. They needed some time alone to talk about what had gone on between them and what to do about it. They sat for a long time, neither speaking any more. Finally, Sidney spoke. "Vin you and I have shared something very special. We both are loners, needing only what we have, and sometimes something more. I have a job I love which takes me to all kinds of places all over the country. Yet, I have such strong feelings for you. I just don't know."
Vin lifted his hand to her face, softly running his fingers down her cheek. Her skin was soft, even from years of being outdoors. In fact she was soft all over. He remembered every curve and soft spot on her body. "Yeah, I know how you feel. I have been on my own for so long, well, don't know if I could handle a permanent relationship and all." They both knew that a commitment was not meant for them but that they shared so much. This bond would always be with them. Maybe some day, someone would come along for both of them the would work out for the best. As they sat side by side, Vin turned to Sidney. "You know, I will always carry a special place in my heart for you, and if you ever need me, well, I'll be there for ya." He smiled at her and they kissed deeply and lovingly. "And remember, I'll always think of the woman who reminded me of an autumn sunset."
|That was the last I saw of Mr. Vin Tanner. We had shared our souls and our bodies which I will never regret. I guess needing and wanting that special person had an impact on me, for I never went traveling again. The President had not questioned my motives for staying close to Washington, but noted with regret that my eyes held a sadness he hadn't seen before. I couldn't tell him or anyone, that's why I am writing this down, how I shall always miss and hurt for Vin Tanner. If I had been a different woman, I know I would have stayed and we would have had a wonderful life together. But, I did meet a wonderful man, tall, slim, with black hair and caring brown eyes. The rest is history. Several years later we had a beautiful daughter with striking red hair and a will of her own. I never heard from Vin again. He never wrote nor I.|
Sidney closed the book. How sad that her great grandmother had given up a wonderful love. She wondered what happened to Vin Tanner. Maybe she would try and find out if there was any further information on this man from Four Corners. As she placed the book down, several photographs slipped out. One was of her great grandmother wearing a beautiful dress. The other photo was of a man. A man in buckskin clothing. So this was the Vin Tanner who had stolen my great grandmother's heart. Even in black and white, Sidney could see how his eyes sparkled as he looked into the camera. She could see the love in his eyes for the woman behind the camera. My god, he was so handsome. How her great grandmother would have loved the color photos of today. Sidney placed the photos back in the chest. Pulling out a wrapped package, she opened it. Inside, carefully wrapped was a beautiful green dress decorated with yellow and orange ribbons. Her great grandmother's dress in the photo.
Sidney took the dress to her bedroom, and decided to try it on. She had some music playing in the living room. The dress fit her perfectly. Looking into the mirror she realized that she looked very much like her great grandmother. Lost in the past to a time when the original Sidney would have danced with the daring and handsome man, Sidney swayed and twirled to the music. So lost in her thoughts she never heard anyone come in.
"Wouldn't you like to have a partner to hold onto?" Sidney stopped in her tracks, embarrassed to be caught in her dream. He spoke again when Sidney just stood there, staring at the man in her doorway. "Well, are you willing to accept me as your partner?" With that, the man slide one arm around her waist and held her hand. They waltzed in time to the music. Sidney never said a word, being too caught up in how familiar this man looked.
"I'm sorry to have scared you, but I called several times, and I had seen you in your attic window, so I thought you might still be up there. My father sent me over to ask you if you would like to come to dinner tonight. He said you had spent enough time by yourself. He seems quite infatuated with you, Miss Branson. My father is an ornery old man who likes to spend time by himself. He felt that way about your mother too." Then he smiled and Sidney realized why he looked so familiar. As they danced, they both forgot about everything. This woman he was dancing with he had never met before but felt he knew her already. He pulled her closer. Their eyes locked on each other. He leaned in to kiss Sidney's lips, but the music stopped and suddenly the spell was broken. He smiled and kissed the top of her hand. "Thank you for the dance." Then he quickly turned and told her they would being having dinner at 6:00 PM. "You know, you're very beautiful in that dress. Reminds me of an autumn sunset." Sidney couldn't even think fast enough to make a comment before he had gone out the front door.
This was really too crazy. No one would believe this. Sidney was so excited. She only had around an hour to get ready, but by 6:00 she had bathed, washed her hair, grabbed a few items and a bottle of wine and almost bounced across the yard next door. Both men met her at the door. Father and son. You couldn't miss it even at the old age his father was at. The same sparkling blue eyes and beautiful smile. Sidney was so excited. She just couldn't wait to show them.
"Listen I was going through some items in the attic that belonged to my great grandmother. I came across this photo. Look at it. Tell me what you think."
Both men smiled. Yes, you couldn't miss it. The young man holding the photo was the spitting image of the man in the photo. Sidney looked elated. Just then the older man, walked out and returned with a small parcel in his hand. "Miss Branson, can I call you Sidney? Sidney, this package has been passed down through generations along with a note. Read it."
Sidney opened the letter. "Sidney, after you left, I knew that I would always hold a special place in my heart for you. I never told you this, but I loved you from the moment we met. I just couldn't figure out how to tell you. I couldn't write to you what I felt, because I weren't book learned, but Mary spent a lot of time with me. I guess you probably have found someone and are settled down with youngins. I too have found a woman who although I love very much, you still hold a place in my heart. If I ever mail this and you get it, just remember what I told you that night. You were like an autumn sunset. I hope your life is happy and full. Remember me always, Vin Tanner."
Tears welled up in Sidney's eyes. Looking up, she almost whispered looking at the young man. "Your great grandfather was Vin Tanner?" He smiled, surprised too at what had transpired. "Yeah. We had heard the stories about him and how he lost his love. In fact, mom and dad thought that if they had ever had a son, well, they would name him after the famous Vin Tanner of the Magnificent Seven. And here I am. Sidney, my name is Vin. Vin Tanner."
Sidney's mouth dropped open. "This is too weird. I thought you had looked familiar, but when you told me that I reminded you of an autumn sunset, I knew then why you looked familiar. My great grandmother had written those same words in her log that Vin Tanner had told her that first night together. My God, I can't believe it. You, here, me here, descendents of people who loved each other."
Vin's dad handed Sidney the package. There inside, wrapped in layers of tissue, brown with age, was a small heart shaped locket. "Look on the back." Sidney turned it over, and engraved on the small heart were the words, "Autumn sunset." Sidney looked up at both Vin and his dad. "I guess Vin Tanner had this made, thinking one day he would either send it to Sidney or give it personally to her. I think you should have it. He would have wanted it that way." Sidney took the necklace, tears falling down her face. "He must have loved her very much, my great grandmother. How could she have let him go."
Vin took the necklace from Sidney. "It only seems right that a Tanner place it around your neck." Later after dinner, Sidney and Vin stood on her front porch. "Vin, sounds funny calling you that after reading that log book. I am think I'm talking to the original Vin Tanner. This is really strange that after all these generations that we should meet up."
Vin smiled. "Sometimes fate plays a hand in things, I think. Looks to me like someone's been given a second chance." Sidney looked at Vin. Those sparkling, piercing blue eyes looked back. Vin leaned over softly kissing her lips. Sidney thought to herself. Was this what it was like for her great grandmother when Vin Tanner had kissed her, and if it was, how could she had let him go. The light kiss was replaced by one of passion, passion from both of them. Lips parted. Sidney spoke. "I feel so sorry for them. What they gave up." Vin's arm wrapped around her, pulling her closer. "Yeah, but look at it this way, what they gave up meant that you and I could maybe right a wrong. I don't know what it is about you but maybe it's what my great grandfather saw in your great grandmother."
From the window, Vin's dad smiled. He knew when he had met Sidney's mother that there was something he had recognized. It had been too late for him, but not for his son. And he knew these two young people would pull together all those years of a love being apart. A love that should have been. This was a way to right a wrong, and start a new generation brought about by two people in love.