Monday, May 25, 2009


Until I was sixteen, I lived in a town with a population of only 2000 people. My school wasn't one room but my library was. It was half a block off the main street. It's total width was made up of shelves on the left wall, a three-seat-wide sofa, a large one-panel wood and glass entrance door, and shelves on the right. It's depth was less than half a town block from front window to back wall. It was my place of choice in Summer. Reading its books was my favorite activity. The librarian was my guide to people and ideas and adventures beyond those walls. Even today, whenever I think the word 'library,' that room is the first picture in my mind.

My first favorite books had orange covers and were biographies of famous people in history, i.e. George Washington, Patrick Henry, Daniel Boone, Clara Barton, etc. They were stories of heroic deeds with no hint of scandal. They were my heroes. My favorite was Benjamin Franklin. He was so patriotic. And so smart. He invented things. I remember my disappointment in him later on when I found out he was evidently quite fond of women. Human. Feet of clay.

I have to read. It is my main addiction (followed only by potato chips). If no book is available, nothing with writing on it is safe. Cereal boxes, prescription info sheets, the directions for use and care of my sweeper, old greeting cards. The United Laboratories label on the cord of my lamp. Something. Anything.

I never learned a second language. When something I'm reading contains phrases in another language, I'm limited to sounding it out as best as I can. I have become enamored of French. Some words and phrases I've recently come across strike me as almost lyrical. "Festival du fromage." Sounds much more elegant than 'cheese party.' And " Pompage BM," the name of a Canadian company that cleans out septic tanks. Much nicer than a literal translation.

I hope I never need the services of a Pompage BM. Or be one.

No comments:

Post a Comment