Novelistador Goes to the Library

A quick word on the title:  Norman Mailer, in writing journalism, often referred to himself as Aquarius.  Ted Williams, in conversation, referred to himself as Teddy Ballgame.  I think of myself as Novelistador.  So shoot me.

Journal Entry, 9/31, 2017

Well, it had to happen.  After a week of clear skies and warm afternoons, today is rainy and the morning chill feels like it will be a noontime and a mid-afternoon chill as well.  Once again, I remind myself that sitting under cover, watching the river flow by and writing into a box on my lap is a pretty damn good life.  If the biggest problem I face is having to wear a hat to keep warm, I’m willing to bet at least 97.5% of the world’s population would trade places in a heartbeat.

Still, once I’ve stoked up the resentment machine, I still haven’t learned to shut it down immediately.  It’s designed to kick out a few products before lumbering back to sleep.  Let me know whine about my head.  Or at least about hats.  Most men’s heads look at least passable in hats—some are even improved by a fancy chapeau.  Almost every hat I’ve ever worn though makes me look like a cancer patient or Charlie Brown.  Without a hat, my head is within acceptable guidelines, but a hat seems to bring out the bizarre in my looks.  Thus, I have two non-winter hats:  a baseball cap which makes me look like a tennis ball with a scab on top and a green Stetson fedora, which makes me look like a giant baby wearing its father’s business wear.    Again, 97.5% of the world . . .  Still, I want a new hat.  Or a new head.

I just realized that I’ve got no standard format for these daily blog posts.  While the responses have been gratifying, I really should at least have a standard header.  I mean, some of them just have a title, others have a date, and still others are called Journal Entries.  And then I realize that if my biggest problem today is formatting posts, I am a lucky man indeed.

Yesterday, I wanted to head to town to pick up mail, check to see if the historical society is open and visit the local library.  Mail was noneventful—a packet of advertisements from the postal service letting me know they were rerouting my mail to the box I’d just removed the letter from.  Of course, the first day I picked up mail, I discovered official Tiny White Box business cards.

Along with refrigerator magnets for some future giveaway!

The historical society was not open.  The historical society may NEVER be open, since the sign says they’re open by luck or chance.  I really want to learn more about the Republic of Indian Stream, an independent nation in the 1830s owing to border discrepancies between the United States and Canada.  That desire may need to remain on hold for a while.

My visit to the town library was the most eventful, especially since there IS no real town library.  I followed my Googlified directions and was dumped into the parking lot of the Pittsburg School, K-12.  The lot was two-thirds full, and I assumed it held teachers getting ready for the new school year.. When I didn’t see any signs for the library, but did see a Main Entrance door, I walked in and was greeted by a very kind receptionist/secretary/knower-of-all-things school related.

(Full Disclosure:  Those of you who know me from my time at Liberty House or from my writing may not know I spent 20 years as an educator, as director of alternative schools throughout the southern part of New Hampshire.  Having started out as a second-grade teacher and reading specialist, I also became certified as an English teacher and school principal.  In short, I know schools well, and I know who knows where the bodies are buried:  the school secretary.)

The secretary, whose name I asked for and, unfortunately, immediately forgot, told me the town library is the school library, and it’s not open to the public during school hours, which, in this age of child-nappings of various kinds, makes sense.  I asked when it WAS open to the public and was told it used to be open Wednesday evenings, but it’s not anymore, but that it is open on Saturday mornings. She thinks. She took me to the library, at the same time taking me into a time machine leading back to my mother’s childhood in small-town libraries.. I could picture little Bev Howard curled up in a corner with “The Bobbsey Twins Go to the Shore” in her lap.  Although I don’t know that Beverly’s library had a computer lab annex in 1935.

I mentioned my background in education, and asked whether the school, with its 100 or so students divided among 13 grades, ever needed volunteers.  She got a springier step and took me to the teachers’ room, where I was introduced to Mrs. Sherry, the principal.

Mrs. Sherry deserves a new paragraph. Hell, Mrs. Sherry deserves a book! I met with her for maybe five minutes, but in that time she enticed me with so many story possibilities I’m not sure I could ever write them. Really.

At the end of our brief interview, I gave Mrs. Sherry my card, told her email was the best way to communicate with me, and left.  Depending on whether Mrs. Sherry remembers my offer, looks up my history on the internet, and follows through with an email, I may be a volunteer at Pittsburg School.

What a funny and delightful world we live in.

Even if I sometimes have to wear hats.

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