You thought the title sounded familiar? It's because I've been reading Lewis Grizzard's book, a compilation of his best columns, which came out after his premature death at age 47 following heart surgery in 1994. My copy has a gold seal on the front which says "This is Lewis's last gift to all his fans...enjoy!" signed by his wife, Dedra, whom he married a few days before surgery. I guess he wanted to have someone in his corner.
Grizzard, and others like him, are one of the reasons that nine years volunteering at a library used book sale isn't a bad idea. No way would I have found or read him on my own. I'd have been sitting ladylike at home, in the Queen Anne chair, reading the Bronte sisters endlessly. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I enjoyed the castles, the secret rooms, the moors. But these writers my customers were bringing in that I soon learned to love, well, I'd never have found them. Grizzard, Rick Bragg, Larry Brown, Tim Gautreaux, rocked my world.
The other reason a used book sale is a great experience is the people. After a while they carve out a little place in your heart. They will bring cards and nut rolls at Christmas, handmade slippers, vegetables from the garden, jewelry, and everything else under the sun, besides the books. I hope to see them all from time to time around town, friends I'd never have met if not for the sale.
I think we did a lot of good. During the Gulf war, we sent boxes of paperbacks to soldiers, books about anything but war, to take their minds off that. After hurricane Katrina, we sent more books to New Orleans where people were setting up little roadside libraries to temporarily replace ones that had been ruined. I'm proud of all we did and will do in the future.
Like Lewis, "I sure had fun."
Oh yeah, also the book sale led to writing this blog, and meeting (if you can call it that), lots more new friends from all over the world. Wow! I wouldn't have missed that!
Do you hate it when your computer second-guesses you? You type in "Jane White", and it asks, in a smarmy way, "Do you mean Jane Black?" Um, no! I don't like a machine that thinks it's smarter than I am. Even if it is.
Maybe I'm not that smart, though, because after having a stiff neck for eons, I realized the other day that I've been wearing my bifocals for the computer, which are clear on top for distance and prescription on the bottom for reading. To see the computer, I always had to lift up my head. But with the $6.00 drugstore reading glasses, I see the screen clearly top and bottom without moving my head all around to do it, and the print is even sharper. No more stiff neck. Duh. A caution: never look in the bathroom mirror while wearing the powerful drugstore reading glasses. They show everything. I never knew my pores were so huge. I think I saw Jimmy Hoffa in there. When it comes to the adult complexion, ignorance is bliss.
May I say I am thankful to live in West (by God) Virginia, especially this week.
Take care ... see you next week.
2 hours ago