At a glance, The Morris Book Shop in Lexington looks like any other small, independent book store. But like the thousands of volumes that line the stores shelves, this place has a story to tell. It's one of triumph over tragedy, and the bond between father and son.
"My Dad was an attorney, just a consumate professional and a really great guy. In his young life he liked to write sort of old fashioned, boys life adventure stories and that sort of thing and that really colored his reading tastes later in life." Back in 2006, Wyn Morris' father, Lexington attorney Les Morris and his wife Kay had planned a vacation to Alaska. Just before the trip, the elder Morris eagerly sought an autographed copy of 'The Messenger' by Daniel Silva when the author made a stop here in the Bluegrass.
"I had not really known my father in quite some time to take such interest in meeting and speaking with an author but he had really, really sort of recently discovered Daniel Silva." Les Morris never got to the chance to read 'The Messenger'; he died with 48 others when Comair Flight 5191 crashed at Bluegrass Airport on August 27, 2006.
"When we were kind of faced with the task of going into the house and kind of collecting things up, I found the jacket to 'The Messenger', the book that I knew he has with him." Months after the crash, Morris received a catalog of crash victim's personal effects that were aboard the ill-fated flight. While flipping through it, he made a stunning discovery. Inside was a photo of Les Morris' personalized signed copy of 'The Messenger' completely intact. Through the mangled wreckage and intense fire that followed the crash, the book emerged virtually unscathed.
"It just felt really good to bring it home in a sense, this thing that I knew was special to my Dad, that he had had with him, and just to have it back flet like have a piece of him." For Wynn Morris, the book not only represents a tangible link to his late father, it also symbolizes a boyhood dream.
Using his father's passing as a wake-up call, Wyn did something that he had put off for years. He took a chance, made a dream come true, and opened his south Lexington bookshop in 2008. "Everyday could be your last day, accidents happen and it is kind of a wake up call to stop screwing around and stop talking about what you want to do someday. Whether it is travel, or get a motorcycle, or fly in a hot air balloon, or God forbid open a bookstore."