Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2021 >Daily Dispatch #201

July 22, 2021: It is Who You Know

The Book Project has been all about coercing people to do what needs to be done. I have been good at this because people respond to my obsession, which manifests itself as passion. It’s hard to say no when someone believes strongly in something. This has been my experience.

Pete’s brother Pat was sitting at the kitchen table this morning. To his left were a pile of books. He pulled forth a few children’s books and began reading them, looking up every so often to tell me about the author, and mention other books he or she had written. I knew that Pat had taught elementary school for a number of years. I did not know that he had a Master’s in Children’s Literature.

Pat reading to kids at Sutton Library

He selected a book he liked and said that he’d read this to the kids who today are coming to the Sutton Library. I watched, open mouthed, as he did just this --- sitting before them, book in hand, upright, pictures facing them. His pacing was excellent. The kids were enthralled. Later I asked Pat and was told that he wanted to be a librarian, more so than being a teacher. This was because books are easier to deal with. I half believed Pat because he definitely was able to connect with the dozen-or-so kids that gathered to listen to him read.

The thought did occur to me, how was it that I managed to get Pat to read to the children? As the day progressed, I thought about others who I somehow convinced to change the trajectory of the day and assist with book project events. The librarians all helped with the silent auction, and at the day’s end collected and tallied the bid sheets. They also said they’d call the winning bidders in the next few days.

And I somehow convinced a handful of people to attend the reading. This included a woman from Anchorage, Jessie, who is co-editing the Wheels on Ice anthology, in which my essay will appear; a senior center worker, Loretta, who has assisted me in my lunchtime endeavor; Sebastian, a neighbor who came to the reading instead of going to a soccer barbecue; Pete, who I am sure would much rather have stayed at home; and Milena who works for Tote Maritime and with whom I will do a road trip at the end of August.

And Nan and Bill, how was it that I convinced them to do a reading? Don’t know. Both were obliging. Both put time and effort into their respective fiction and poetry presentations. Both could have remained home, writing.

Somehow, I did it. I am, of course, wonderous. My life up until this point in time has been a series of failures. I could list them, but why bother? They are behind me now. And maybe, just maybe, I learned from my innumerable mistakes. Don’t know.

Tomorrow, back to the drawing board. I have a lengthy list of people who I need to convince to support this project in one way or another because if I don’t, I will again fall flat on my face.

Next: 202. 7/23/21: Book Sorting 101

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles