Thursday, November 04, 2010

Fire on the ground

Missus RR and I recently drove to New England : Connecticut traffic was hellish. On the bright side, though peak had passed, trees in southern NE still burned with autumn fire. Sugar maples,missed here in the Yellow Tavern quadrant, are the core of the fire. They can be red , yellow, or bronze. Many white birches, too: we never see that type in VA.They stand out, leaves flicking a royal wave.

My brother was laid off last week. He worked for a family firm, spice makers (Bell Seasoning,etc.) and bartender's mixes; they do Tang, contract work for Kraft and others. Brother has been in high speed food production most of his working life, though he has an HVAC background and training . Our father lost his job at around this (50s) age; a knee jerk reaction of capitalism, perhaps?

My employer, scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for semi-warm bodies to staff our newest branch in Stafford county. asked me to work public desks in the youth area. I am having a blast: 65,000 books, all brand new, gotta love opening day collections! People get into librarianship for two reasons: the classification and organization geeks (very smart, too organized, sometimes poor 'monkey skills', fun; more on this someday, maybe) get their rush from codification; others want to be the synaptical point between patron and book. The spark one gets when one hands a child a book, something they wanted. Amazing, , the things one forgets over the years.

A public tip o' the hat to colleagues and pals who have been asking about the Shebeen and the state of health of us here in the cul. We are ok, thank you.


Barrett Bonden said...

We happened to be in Massachusetts in Fall quite by chance a couple of decades ago. Rather self-consciously we set out to discover whether the colours were the product of nature or merely the Mass. Tourist Office PRs running off at the mouth. For once (or should I say for twice, because San Francisco too exceeded its hype) we were overwhelmed. Dangerously so. The road was narrow and winding and stopping for photographs threatened life and limb. But stop we did.

But the news about your brother dulls the colours. Knee-jerk capitalism indeed. And right at the moment when expertise is at its highest and is - perhaps? - being rewarded by a salary that reflects this. Not that the US has a monopoly on these unkind cuts but it explains a prevalent attitude among American males which surprised me when I lived there - the secret desire of most of them to work for themslves. A non-existent tendency here in the UK.

Ah, to be a sort of intellectual Santa Claus, found only in libraries. Handing over a book is like drawing back the curtain a little on a stage of infinite dimensions. Good luck. I envy you that.

The Crow said...

One of my happiest moments throughout an otherwise blighted childhood was when I got to go to the library, no matter where we lived. Joy, joy - joy divine!

When I was eight, living in Ohio, I was allowed to join a troop of Brownies for a few weeks. We met in the neighborhood library. If I remember correctly, it was a children's library: decorated with kids and their imaginations in mind. Heaven, pure heaven, for me, to see all those books and to know that they could be mine for a week or two. But the best part of going to that library was Mrs. Jenkins, the head librarian. Not only did she know, and call me by, my name, she always had a new book set aside for me when I went in.

In all likelihood, she had books set aside at the desk for anyone, not specifically for me, but I remember, clear as yesterday, how she would smile when I walked up to the desk to return my latest treasure, and tell me she had just the right book for me to read next. Made an otherwise unspectacular child feel exceedingly special, every time she did that. I will never forget her.

Sorry to hear about your brother's predictament, RR. These are unsettling times, and I hold my breath every time I go to work: you never know when the axe will fall in your direction. Best wishes to him in recovering from this.

So very glad you and Missus RR are doing well, and that you are blogging again.

The Crow said...

PS: I looked up the Stoics because of the book on your shelf. I added it to my wish list at Amazon, but probably will visit the library first.

Relucent Reader said...

BB and The Crow, thank you for your comments.
Brother is following protocol, ahard age and time to be unemployed.
Crow: That librarian discovered The Trick. Learn young patrons names,asap. And she smiled, made you comfortable: a very good librarian,indeed.