Been a Quiet Week | Newberry

Been a Quiet Week

There have been no huge donations this week, for which I am grateful. A person who drops off fifty boxes of books may be doing us a favor in the long run, but in short-term terms, that person is just keeping me from attending to the little things.

As it is, I can pay attention to, oh, say the doll cradle somebody dropped off. It’s big enough for a large baby doll. It’s perfect for holiday giving, though one or two people have suggested I use it as part of a Nativity scene in the lobby during December. I don’t believe they’re especially devout; I think they have relatives coming to visit with a two year-old they’d like to lend me for the duration.

A hit-and-run donor dropped off 110 hymnals and got away before I could write down the license number. This was not, by the way, 110 different hymnals, but 110 copiies of the same hymnal, in various states of repair. No doctorate of deduction is required to figure this out: a new hymnal has been published, and the congregation didn’t want to throw away the obsolete edition.

Hymnals are a mild problem, philosophically, for some volunteers, who want to know why I put them in Music, and not Religion. The answer is “Because customers will look for them there.” Only the Cemetery Lady, so far as I know, ever bought a hymnal for the order of service (funerals, of course). Everybody else wants to get the arrangement they like of “Just As I Am”. On the assumption that these people are taking hymnals home for use on their piano or organ, 110 of these lovelies are going into Music. (The exception to this rule is the foreign language hymnal which includes only lyrics. Our ancestors did a lot of this: the note to the organist tells what tune to play, as an organist of the day would have them all memorized. A collection of hymns in German, without notes, goes into Foreign Language.)

Some of you out there are simply trying to make me uncomfortable. I have mentioned those inscriptions you leave in books, haven’t I? At least once a month? By golly, there were some life tales told in the books in this week’s assortment. I think I’ve also mentioned I don’t understand why people write their names in their copies of Alcoholics Anonymous: how is this Anonymous? Anyway, a copy came in which had been presented by a previous user to someone else. He noted on the front free flyleaf that thanks to this book, he met two of the loves of his life: one partner, and the child they adopted together.

Then there was the book of heartwarming quotes about mothers: three kids had written “Hi Mom! We’re never too big to sit in your lap!” Not only is this a little too heartwarming for a blogger, but I question the logic. Not having seen the lap in question, of course, I can’t say for sure that they were wrong.

And someone donated a copy of the classic, The Road Less Traveled, with an inscription to his wife, “whom I’m glad to be traveling the road with.” Got the whom right, ended the sentence with a preposition, and, again, way too heartwarming on a chilly loading dock.

There was also time to price more of the collection of Easy Listening LPs. I watched Hugo Montenegro’s face and hair change across four decades, and was amazed by the changing models on the jackets. (Some musicians had a particular “look” to their albums, and Hugo favored attractive and insecurely-clad women. One of the earlier models has a dress cut down all the way to THERE, but any curves that might have been exposed were airbrushed out of sight. An album toward the end features a clearly topless model, though her picture is on the inside of the gatefold. AND it was an As-Seen-On-TV bargain album, so the browser in a record shop would not be frightened away by her.)

And we have a larger collection of mandolin records than I’ve seen before. If I can come up with 110 of them, there may be a two-for-one special next July.

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