In our neighborhood, Louis Yarc was the king of the hill.
When we all got together to play the game on some bales of hay, Louis was the undisputed winner. I still have vivid memories of him, in the midwest summer twilight, fending off the regicidal lunges of as many as 8 other boys. He'd dance around them, hoist them over his shoulder and toss them off, or just muscle them down.
I've decided that there are just two kinds of libraries in America: the ones you can see, and the ones you don't.
The libraries you can see are the ones that relish their communities. You'll see library meeting room chairs at local plays and band concerts. You'll see library program fliers on a table by the volleyball tryouts. You'll see library staff everywhere -- any meeting of any group around. You'll see library buildings in the heart of downtown.
The libraries you don't see are the ones that just don't get out much.
I was shocked and appalled to find out that John Adams, architect of the Constitution, 2nd President of these United States, actually (and I still can't believe this) wrote in the margins of almost every book he owned.
In one book, his marginal comments were actually longer than the book itself. Clearly, he took more pleasure in his disagreements than in the writing.
What are we to make of such a travesty?
If my best friend had told me, back when I was in high school, that I would grow up to be a librarian, I would have laughed in his face.
But then, I was an idiot in high school. These days, I think I have the most fascinating job in the world. Consider just a couple of weeks in the life of your local librarian.