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June 12, 2021: Pete on the Front Lines

Pete now joins our friend Bill Schmidtkunz on Saturday mornings, at the local recycling center, and they do the sorting, then take boxes to the meeting house. I’m not allowed on the premises (go figure) so the two get to the honors. Sometimes Nan Potts, who is the Bright Lights Book Project Recirculation Manager, gives an assist.

I felt today like the kid left at home because she had the measles. I badly wanted to be with my friends, doing the project activity that I like to do best.

I instead took Tinni and the dogs on an outing, and then I went for a run with Hrimfara. When I got back an hour later,

Checking out kids books at the Sutton Library

Pete and Bill were both here. My heart then sank because I sensed that this week’s book haul was meager. Turns out that I was right.

Pete also had some bad news. Last week there were two pallets of brand new math textbooks out on the recycling warehouse floor. According to Pete, this past week the powers that be brought in the shredders – lots of shredders, and they tore up all those books.

Hearing this, I became angry. The last time I felt this sort of anger was when the order was given to shred the books that I had not yet distributed. They shredded a few tons of books when I was on my Fairbanks to Valdez Bicycle trip, one in which I was promoting the book project.

I felt the way I felt when I watched the movie The Book Thief, and when I read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Maybe this has to do with my belief that the suppression of information is unconscionable. Or maybe it has to do with my belief that a book in hand can be life changing. Even math textbooks empower people. Shredding books is also very wasteful, and I abhor waste. Our lifestyle is indicative of this. We re-use most everything. Our chickens get our meal scraps, and we compost and give away our horse manure.

I am glad that I live with an individual who too was raised to see the importance of books. Like me, Pete is a reader. He also is into re-use. So now, there he is, on the front lines, attempting to keep the book project going. He’s actually the perfect man for the job since he is a long-time board member, and former VCRS Board President.

I just have to be patient and wait for there to be an attitude change at VCRS. Pete’s helping out is enabling me to feel less helpless. And in feeling less helpless, I am better able to quell my anger about this particular situation.

Next: 163. 6/13/21: Summer in Full Bloom

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