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Sunday, May 29, 2016
Libraries, Legacies And Mother EnglandPosted Monday, June 2, 2008, at 7:56 AM
There is this big, rather nice looking old building in town. For quite a while appeared it might have been abandoned. Looked like just another one of those structures which had once been vital to the community, but had lost its usefulness due to factors beyond anyone's control. Probably didn't meet some safety code or other such public imperative.
But, I was wrong! Went by this week and found it was not only opened but full of some really neat stuff. Did you know there was this place in town where anyone could go and read books for Free, find great things for your kids and grandkids, and even rent DVD's for only 50 cents? They call it the Brazil Public Library. And, apparently you can now go into it without fear of some fire door closing (or was that opening?), or fear of any other obscure safety possibility possibly happening. I told the Library lady person I'd waited patiently for six years for the Library to reopen. She assured me it only seemed that long.
An appreciation of learning, books and libraries is my legacy from my father. He ingrained in me that we are what we read and can only hope for the future when we honor and preserve our collective past. To this day I can't bring myself to throw away a book. It was a good thing he left me this legacy, he didn't have any money.
One of the few tangible things I received from my father are the works of Sir Winston S Churchill, Prime Minister of England during World War II. My father was a great admirer of Churchill, and quoted him often. I suspect that one would have had to live through that period of history to really appreciate what Churchill did to save the world. Through the strength of his charisma he held the world together so that civil servants could keep libraries closed for two years in order to look good obscure and unlikely problems.
Anyhow, I went to the library to see if they would want a four-volume set of Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. This is an important work, and a prized possession of my dad. I have had these books in my possession since 1967 and made a valiant effort to read them twice. They are important, just not very interesting. The Library didn't want them and I can't say that I blame them. They would take up space on a shelf for another forty years and by the 23rd century my father would still be the only one who'd read them.
So, we have our Library back, which is good. I still am richer from my father's legacy, which is good. If you know of someone who could get some real uses out of my Churchill legacy, that would be good, too.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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