Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bone Anne, the Librarian

Instead of inspiring me to write, the rain has made me super sleepy. So, I will start this post and see where I end.

Actually, air makes me sleepy. It's the lack of the regular schedule and knowing that I don't have to do anything.

Today, I walked the trails at Kennesaw Mountain with two friends. We got soaked in a downpour. I felt like a kid -- I just didn't care that I was wet.

Hubby: Did you have a towel?
Me: No.
Hubby: Did you get the car seats wet?
Me: Mostly my clothes were wet.
Hubby: Make sure that you wipe the seats off with a towel. That is bad for the leather.
Me: That car is eleven years old.
Hubby: It doesn't look a day over three.
Me: I'm glad your concern is so well placed.
Hubby: You dry off nicely.
Me: Aww, thanks sweetie. That means a lot.

*rolls eyes*

I had intended to head to the bank and the library, but I had to come home and change clothes. I decided to also go to the grocery store.

There was nothing funny at Publix today except the discussion I had with the bag boy about my "green" bags. I'm not sure he's a fan of them. When I handed them to him, he was reluctant about taking them, and I guess, wanted to make me aware of what a pain they were to him.

Me: You don't need to put jugs of anything in those bags.
Bag boy: [holds up orange juice] Like this?
Me: Yes. That's a jug.
Bag boy: [holds up tonic water] This?
Me: No, that's not a jug; please bag it.
Bag boy: [holds up milk]
Me: Yes, that's a jug too. Just leave it.
Bag boy: Here?[places it back on checkout counter]
Me: No, put in the buggy but not in the bag.
Bag boy: [puts it in buggy] Like this?
Me: Yes.

We had a conversation like that about everything that wasn't a jug. I had five jugs -- orange juice, milk, V-8, tea, and apple juice. Yet, he wanted to ask me about everything that wasn't a jug. [Where are you, Harold?]

*pokes eye out with debit card*

I was worn out. He made me want to take a nap.

I also went to the public library which is usually the hub of the unemployed. Today, it was eerily quiet. No lines -- no impatient unemployed tapping their foots waiting for a turn at the computers and the Internet.

I have a friend in Colorado who is looking for a job, and one of the ways she cut back financially is to stop her Internet. She goes to the public library, and when she has a moment, she goes on the General Hospital message board and posts comments. Apparently, her librarian can smell "unauthorized" use of the Internet from fifty paces. If I catch her on, I try to help her get in trouble by posting nearly nude pictures of our soap star. Heh. I'm that kind of friend.

[Don't ask me where I got them.]

Librarians -- they have always been a different breed of people. When I was teaching at Douglas County High School (my first teaching job), the librarian there was known for her stealthy ways. Her name was Anne Bone. Because she had this innate sense of students off task in the library, she could zero in on them before they knew she was coming.

Anne was about five feet four and weighed in at about 100 pounds -- but she was in her fifties and close to retirement when I was teaching there in the late 1970's. She has short cropped hair and these gray eyes that could cut a rope in two with a good stare. She was ghostly she was so quiet.

She wore long skirts and blouses with matching long strands of necklaces that never made a noise. She also wore dangle earrings and lots of bangles -- also mute. How did she keep her jewelry quiet?

Her husband rode a Harley, and students who knew that about her would fall into giggles imagining her and her long skirts sitting behind him on that machine, eyes focused on the road, and the motorcycle putting out all that noise.

She just didn't seem like a woman capable of such adventure and daring.

As a teacher who was part of the staff, she scared me too. When I took my students to the library, she would give me these "hairy" looks like she knew I could not possibly keep my students supervised, and at times, it was like keeping thirty corks under water or playing Whack a Mole.

One time when my students were unruly, she reported me to the principal like I was a third grader. I guess her "chillin'" way kept her from addressing me directly -- or maybe, she wasn't sure I was really a teacher. That happens when you are young yourself in the classroom -- the veterans on staff just don't want to fool with you . .. to her, I was part of the problem.

I'm sure I was. I was young and giggly and trying to be quiet can only instill more guffaws from me.

The students were spooked by her -- cause she wore rubber soled shoes and would sneak up behind them and touch them with a bony finger on the shoulder or arm or hand, and then look them dead in the eye, place a finger to her lips, and go "Shhhh. Great authors need serenity."


The students called her Bone Anne, the Librarian.


Regardless of her rather steely ways, the woman knew the library, periodicals, and research.

When I was working on my Masters in the early 80's, I sometimes would do research in the school library, which she had coddled over her years as head librarian and amassed a respectable set of periodicals.

When I would come in frazzled with the weight of teaching full time and attending night classes at West Georgia, she would take the topic, and maybe she would drool a little, but she would say quietly, "let me do the preliminary work for you." When I would check back with her, she would have pulled references from all kinds of places and saved me hours of work.

One time, my tears of gratitude made her smile a little. She was a fount of information, and if she couldn't find it, she would tell me exactly where I could find it in another library.

Even with her unusual patrolling of the library and her cool demeanor, I will only remember her fondly.

She died of cancer in the early 1990s. I know she would hate the computerness of the libarary today and the fact that it has been renamed the Media Center.

Rest easy, Anne.

Rain and the library .. it made me reflective.

ETA: That's a picture of DCHS.


  1. Which library do you go to? I go to Central Library.
    If they renamed the school library, why not rename the public libraries, since they have more kinds of different media than a school library.

  2. Gillham, I'm crushed... You write of visiting libraries yet you never come to "volunteer" with us as promised! No "waves" to your peeps at the The Mountain? Have you forgotten us so quickly? BTW - new books this week!

    And IMHO, library/media center = potāto/potäto. I don't know what braintrust decided to rename the school libraries, but we all know a name matters not. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." (Except sometimes the school library doesn't smell too sweet, but I digress.)

    Jessica, a public library has "more kinds of different media" than a school library? Really?

  3. So nice! This made me remember those days of old when the only newfangled item in libraries was microfiche. Whatever happened to microfiche?

  4. It made me laugh to remember you in the DCHS days. What a journey!

  5. I LMAO at the grocery store comments. I, too, have those green bags and I always felt the baggers were somewhat put out by this. I am glad to know it is not only me. I always felt proud walking in with my green bags and somewhat defeated walking out.

    I enjoyed your library story. I haven't been in a library in forever. College days, I guess. I always enjoyed the serenity of the library. I would walk in and immediately be relaxed.

  6. Where did you get those nearly nude pics? :P

  7. So I finally caught up on your blog! I am only going to post in one thread but I have to tell you reading about you suburbanites driving around in midtown had me rolling. It so makes me miss Atlanta, but definitely not the traffic. Reading your blog today made me think of my Atlanta story I posted yesterday. I get those looks from the bag boys at the Grocery Store but here it's Giant not Publix. You wouldn't think going green would be that hard. Oh and my Dad he still calls jeans - dungarees. I ask him WTH is that :P. Damn I'm wordy when I fall behind!


  8. *pokes eye out with debit card*

    I'm freaking dying, DYING!