It sometimes seems to me that I talk a lot about myself in this blog. (See, I just used me, myself, and I all in one sentence. Blog Heaven.) You should be aware of the fact that everybody at the Book Fair is remarkable. For example:
One of our volunteers allowed her name to be used in two different pieces of fiction by Sara Paretsky.
One of our volunteers convinced Kraft Foods that cream cheese was not just an ingredient but also a spread. (He took his bosses to a deli and let them listen to the orders at lunchtime.)
One of our volunteers spent nine months on Ellis Island while his parents tried to convince the State Department they were who they said they were. (They were on a Gestapo death list, and the State Department wouldn’t believe they’d gotten away.)
One of our volunteers worked for the architectural firm responsible for the current look of the Newberry lobby.
One of our volunteers picked up a load of books which included a large bust of Benjamin Franklin, which he put in the passenger seat of his car and fastened in with the seatbelt. He says it seemed like a good idea at the time, but he got a lot of strange looks going along the Outer Drive.
One of our volunteers wrote the continuity for the Master of Ceremonies at a tribute to Frank Sinatra in 1946.
One of our volunteers spent part of her time from 1933 to 1976 writing a massive Civil War novel which publishers pronounced excellent but too long. The manuscript seems to have been thrown away when she died.
One of our volunteers has been head of the organization of Women Marine Veterans of World War II.
One of our volunteers was once cited to Madame Ooglepuss of Kukla, Fran, and Ollie as an example of good hairstyling.
One of our volunteers played trumpet and did stand-up for a Big Band after World War II.
I was the third American one of our volunteers ever met. She was whisked off the plane from Poland and hustled over to the Newberry to help set up mystery books
One of our volunteers dons a serape to shovel her roof in the winter.
Two of our volunteers got into an argument over whether Louis Armstrong was an icon of jazz or merely a legend.
One of our volunteers is researching the question “When did Midwestern cuisine get so crummy?”
One of our volunteers got a job in spite, his employers told him, of the fact that his personality test said he was “creative”.
One of our volunteers worked for the Manhattan Project.
One of our volunteers worked with Mortimer Adler and reports he chewed with his mouth open. (He apparently didn’t think much of her, either.)
The father of one of our volunteers owned a rooming house much favored by vaudevillians on the West Coast. She remembers riding her tricycle up and down the halls in the morning just to annoy the dancers and acrobats who had been working late.
Watch your step around our volunteers.