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March 7, 2020: The Bright Lights Book Project of Palmer, Alaska

Today I made a comparison to Wall Drug, this is where everyone in South Dakota goes when they are on vacation. Well, I’m thinking that soon enough, that Palmer, Alaska, which is already a destination vacation, will be a place in which the masses come to check out. Odd, seriously, many years ago there was this place on the Richardson Highway, a faded sign, painted on a two-story building read: Alice S. Wilson, Lunches. I saw that sign, and often envisioned myself taking over that establishment, the main item on my menu was going to be peanut butter sandwiches. I would also read my poetry to them. It would be like something out of Tom Robbin’s Another Roadside Attraction.

Ice carving horse

This could come to be, cept the meals will consist of food for thought – books.

Like Field of Dreams – build it and they will come.

For fifteen minutes or so today, I saw what my on-site book maven role might be. The books in the store and the distribution area were neatly sorted. I picked up a handful of books, and I was able to quickly categorize them. I also took a number of boxes, with craft books, upstairs, thinking that I’d soon be able to put them on an incoming bookshelf.

This was just a glimpse of what was to be. Three of us did a major sort, and so by the time we were done, there were many more boxes of books, ready to be further sorted and categorized.

And the bookcase – oh my. It was to be a simple guy project. I sent Pete and Steve (director) to get it. I was told later that they soon discovered that it was constructed of particle board – and when they went to move it, one of the sides fell off. Rather than abandon project, they brought it back to the recycling center. And rather than trash it, Pete, in particular, spent a better part of his afternoon attempting to screw it back together.

The project did not get finished, so the upstairs crafts books did not get shelved. I was told that it would be completed sometime next week. I give it two weeks. And if anyone attempts to move the books back downstairs, I am going to pitch a major fit. The analogy is this; salmon swim upstream but they do not swim back down stream. This is a duplication of effort. I don’t want anyone to think that a salmon is smarter than I am.

Two lesser people would have been cussing and carrying on had this been their project. Instead, Steve and Pete saw the humor in the situation. I repeatedly commended them for this, particularly since they had other equally important things to do.

I suspect that the story of the falling apart bookshelf will someday become a part of recycling center lore. It will be right up there with my neighbor Jim’s tossing the books on the book store shelf onto the floor. He was then attempting to screw a a bookcase onto a wall.

In the near future, the 15 minutes that I spoke of will reoccur, the difference being that the second time around, it will be thirty minutes. I feel somewhat confident about this. I am not allowing myself to think any other way.

Next:67. 3/8/20: The Writing Life: Done is almost Done

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