Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Monday, September 17, 2012

Oh, How I Love Librarians! (Part 3)

Once out of college and in the classroom again, this time as a teacher, I found my reliance on the library--and on librarians--grew heavier and heavier.  In fact, my first good friend at the old Harmon Middle School was a librarian, Doug Kramer, also a rookie.  He was about 6'5" (or more?), a former roundball player at KSU who now sat in the little Aurora Middle School library (not yet a "media center"), towering over all.  When Doug--"Mr. Kramer"--declared silence, there were few who would gainsay him.

We became good friends, ate lunch together, horsed around after school--that sort of thing.  He was newly married (I can't remember her name), and I liked her very much too.  Over spring break that year, I drove to New York City to visit an old friend.  Out in the middle of Pennsylvania at a rest stop I saw the Kramers, also on their way east.  (He drove a red Mustang--was I envious?!!)  (Cue: Music from Twilight Zone--Link)

Doug stayed only one year, though.  I don't remember where he went, have no idea what his life and career turned out to be.  I was always friendly with his numerous successors: book-lovers tend to "bond," you know?

The other great librarian friend that first year was Donna French, whose daughter Linda was in eighth grade and helped me write the first play I did that first spring.  There were seven French children, and I taught most of them--wonderful young people, all.  Donna worked as the elementary school librarian but spent time in the middle school, too.  She and her family sort of "took me in" those first few years--feeding me when I ran out of money (which didn't take long: my paycheck, on the 1st and the 15th, was $168.42, take-home), entertaining me when I was lonely (which was often).  Their house overflowed with books (as mine does now).  Her husband, "Bud," was a physicist but was as down-to-earth as anyone with a celestial intelligence could ever have been.  The Frenches really made me feel part of the family and helped ease my way into a life I was finding so amazingly difficult and stressful.

When I began taking graduate courses at KSU (nights, summers), the library became ever more important, though I don't recall that I had anything like a "relationship" with any of the myriads of librarians at KSU.  I was just another anonymous face in a sea of faces they had to deal with.  But I practically lived in that library at times.

Satterfield Hall
And, oddly, that library served as a connection to Joyce ...  In the summer of 1969 we were both taking a class in American transcendentalism at KSU.  We did not know each other--but I had certainly noticed her.  But, as I've written before, I'd already made that Pathetic Male Calculation--the one that, translated, says approximately this: I have no chance with her. I am not going to waste my time and break my own heart by making a move.  And so I didn't.

But one day after class, right outside Satterfield Hall, she fell in step with me.  And she asked me if I could tell her where the library was.  I--sensing an opening--told her I would show her.  (Oh, you wise and clever man!)  And I did.

Of course, I learned later she'd been going there every day.  (Oh, you wise and clever woman!)

Tuesday: Librarians help as I write books.

Wednesday: Librarians later in my life.

Thursday: Something new!

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