Library Doors

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, Heart of Hollyhill

March 17, 1964

Jocie Brooke here reporting from Main Street, Hollyhill, Kentucky. It’s been a pretty calm week here in Hollyhill. That’s about the only kind of weeks we have, so don’t let the title of this blog fool you too much. I go hunting strange, but in a little town like ours, most everything is same old same old. I’m thinking strange would be a lot easier to find along the streets in a big city, but Wes says the folks who live there are probably believing strange is more apt to happen out here in Hollyhill. So I guess I need somebody from a big city to show me where it is. 

But I know one place to go where I can find strange and ordinary and excitement and tragedy. I could go on and on and I do sometimes. But through those library doors up there in that picture is a little bit of everything. 

Do you like libraries? Oh surely you do. If you like books. I like books. No, that’s not true. I love books! I’d like to be able to read a dozen books a week as long as they aren’t school books. Other than that, I’m not picky. I’ll read anything. That’s why the library lady, Miss Willow, is always giving everything I try to check out the eye to see if she thinks I’m old enough to read whatever is inside. Sometimes she shakes her head and puts the book on the return shelf and tells me to go look for something else. She says there are some things a young girl should not read, especially a young girl who is a preacher’s daughter. And since I don’t have a mother to watch over me, she guesses it’ll just have to be her job to see that I only read appropriate material. Sigh. Sometimes it’s like the whole town is making sure I, Jocie Brooke, the preacher’s daughter, behaves – appropriately! Sheesh!

I’ve never exactly figured out why being a preacher’s daughter makes a difference, but Miss Willow is very firm with her decisions. So firm that one time when I knew she wasn’t going to like one of my picks, I put it under my jacket and took it out without letting her stamp the date on the little card inside. I didn’t steal it. Honest, I didn’t! I took it back and put it on the shelf in the exact same spot. So it wasn’t lost forever by being shelved in the wrong spot. Books get lost that way, you know. Miss Willow would never admit to putting a book back in the wrong shelf, but somebody does now and again. (I’m going to be in so much trouble if Dad finds out about me taking that book without Miss Willow knowing, so please don’t tell.) 

You have to know Miss Willow to understand how she feels about a book escaping her library without the date stamped inside. She’s not as strange as Zella, but they are big friends. Sometimes Miss Willow gives me that funny smile and says she’s been talking to Zella. That’s never good! Miss Willow isn’t married, or as she says, at least not yet. Zella says she’s married to all those books in the library. That Miss Willow, who has been the librarian ever since I can remember, feels as responsible for them as a mother for her children. A few thousand children, I have to say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she knew the names of every one of them. 

Then again, Zella’s one to talk about somebody not getting married, but could be, it’s not too late for her either. You can’t forget those flowers at Valentine’s. Nobody has ever owned up to that. Zella pressed one of the red roses. In a book of poetry. I don’t think it’s a library book.  Miss Willow would have a fit about that, or maybe not if it was Zella and something romantic like roses and secret admirers.

But I’ll take books over roses or secret admirers. That book about us here in Hollyhill is making the rounds out in blogging land with everybody reading it and saying what they like or maybe don’t like about it. It’s not much fun reading about the don’t likes, but it’s looking like most of the readers are wishing they could come to Hollyhill and visit a while. I wish they would. Might make Main Street more interesting for a few days.  

If you want to know what folks are saying about the first book in the Heart of Hollyhill series check online for reviews of Scent of Lilacs or places like Amazon or Barnes & Noble or I have no idea what any of those are, but that’s what they told me to tell you. So I have.

Now I’ve got to go to the library and see what I haven’t read yet. I might have to wear my big coat so I can sneak out another “inappropriate” book. 

Do you like going to the library?