Dear Library: From Deborah


Dear Library,

In grade school, I was the one in rounded blue glasses (my favorite color) and the last in line for booster shots. Where I should have been slightly embarrassed by my choice of optical ware, I was standing last in line because I was mortified at the idea of being caught sobbing during injections. That all changed because of the Kate Love Simpson Library. In Morgan County, our library was given its location by the donation of Ms. Simpson’s beautiful white-framed home. Its two-storied, sun-roomed loveliness sat on a large corner lot, catty-cornered from the commons. Most importantly, it was where I waited once a week before getting my allergy shot. Who knows how many polio pricks and DTP stabs I would have blubbered my way through if the continual bribe of the library hadn’t overcome the horror of even weekly injections? If shots came with regular seven day intervals of stacks of books, bring on the needles! Having outgrown childish blue bifocals, I learned how to apply a sophisticated tangerine sunset eyeshadow combination from one of the “Seventeen” magazines housed among the periodicals in the former sunroom. I found out that the non-fiction stacks weren’t just dry chunks of facts for school reports. They held wild west outlaw books with photos in the center where you could count some of the bullet holes that laid Billy the Kid low. It was on the lone L.P. cart that I found a folk album with minor key tales of mad medieval kings and women still searching for loves long since buried at Shiloh. I chewed through story after story on the shelves of fiction, pressed closely into rows, that angled through the former parlors, and dining room, and bedrooms of a lady who must have loved to read as much as I did. So I read through years of shots. The nurse began to apologize because she would have to ram the dose into my calloused shoulder. She stopped and laughed when she noticed I didn’t bother to look up from the page of one of the many books I’d brought with me. Thank you, Ms. Simpson.

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