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September 4, 2022: Books

I suspected that the recycling center booth at the Alaska State Fair might be low on books, so after I attended a congregation get together at the Meeting House, I went over there. It was 11 a.m. and already the parking lots were filling up.

It appeared as though it was going to be a nice day, so I figured that the numbers at the fair would end up being high today. I loaded up the little red dolly with totes full of books and dragged it behind me as if it were a wagon. The load only came off once. The lids were on tight, so the books didn’t fall out.

I understand that vendors are not supposed to hawk their wares, so on the way over I gave out one, just one, book. I was tempted to give out more – there were, by the time I made it over to the central area, more mothers pushing strollers and dragging kids along than I had ever seen. I estimated that I’d be able to part with the contents of my four totes in a half hour.

Box of garden book in the Eckert Garden

Instead, this good little girl went directly to the recycling center and assessed the situation. Sam, who works at the Palmer Museum, had signed up for the morning shift. And Judy, who works for the recycling center, was tidying up the booth.

I put bookmarks in the books, organized them some, straightened out the contents of the newspaper box, then started passing books out to parents and children. Sam stood and watched me. I began feeling uneasy, as if I was doing something wrong. So, I instead packed it up and came home.

It’s always going to be a dilemma, the question being, do those working at events pass out books or just stand around and wait for parents and children to come to them? I prefer to pass out books. I am lucky in that I’m on the small side, so I’m not intimidating. At least this is my rationalization. And I do think that passing books on after direct contact gets books into the hands of kids, which is where they belong.

Later, after I got home, I took Tinni for a walk. On the way down road, I met Renee, a new neighbor. Apparently, her father in law, Mike, has dementia. So Renee and her husband Charles are (as they say) taking care of his affairs, which is cleaning out his house in Anchorage, and cleaning up his property in Palmer.

After talking a bit with Renee and then being introduced to her seven (yes seven) children, I went back home and grabbed some books and goat milk. I put these items on the roof of their car. Two of the smaller kids immediately climbed up onto the hood of the car and began going through the books, together. They were both doing what little kids do, looking at the pictures and sort of reading the texts.

This did my heart good.

I got home and discovered that by 5 p.m., all the kid’s books at the recycling center were gone. I didn’t go back into town because I heard there was a lot of traffic. But I will go in tomorrow, before the fair is open to the public, and get the books ready to be handed out.

And at 5 p.m. I’m passing on 10 boxes of books and a bookcase.

Will wonders ever cease.

Next: 243. 9/5/22: No Fair

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