This is how I blundered into making new friends and coming up with a new project in Kerens last week.
First, if some of you don’t know, I used to be in the online bookselling business. It just kind of happened. I sold a few extra books on Amazon.com, and it worked out so well, I got some more and sold them. It was great fun looking for a book that might have some value. But sometimes I found whole libraries that were for sale at bargain prices, so I would buy them all to get the valuable ones. I filled one storage room, and then bought a storage building and filled it. It was fun until I got so many listed online that sometimes I couldn’t find one when somebody ordered it. So I turned the business over to my son-in-law Gary, who is an orderly person, who almost never loses a book. But I still have a jillion wonderful books in my store house. Well, they aren’t all wonderful, but many of them are.
The Kerens Library, where I have bought a bunch of books in past years, called me, hoping I would buy the remains of their book sale. I told them probably not, but I’d come see, since I wanted to talk to them about the facebook page I’m working on, Henderson County Book Talk.
Kerens Librarian Misty Canady is a lovely person, and we made friends right away. Turns out, the book sale had been held across the street, so they took me over, gave me the key, showed me how to thumb bolt, then lock it from the outside with the key, and left me to browse. I thought, I don’t need a single one of these books, but there are some interesting titles, and I can pick a couple dozen of them and write about them, maybe making an passable column here, or on the Book Talk page. So I boxed them up and set them outside the door, thumb bolted it, started to put the key in the lock and discovered what was in my hand was my car keys. The library’s key was inside. So was my purse.
I slunk across the street and confessed, hoping they had another key. No such luck. She called the president of the Library Friends, who wasn’t home, but — thank goodness! — came home and called back before long. She didn’t have a key, but said she would call the owner of the building. Whew! In a couple of minutes she called to say she got a recording that this was not a working number. It was nearly lunchtime, and my sister was expecting me, so I left them, saying if nobody comes up with a key, I’ll pay the locksmith. Late that afternoon Misty called me, saying they had called the locksmith, Ken Ingram, of Ken’s Lock and Key. It took him quite a while to get it open, and then he wouldn’t take a penny.
When I went back to get my purse I got to meet Sharon Marrs, a library volunteer. We hit it off immediately. Sharon, also very active in the Rotary Club, asked me if I’d come speak to them. I told her Cedar Lake Nursing Services is looking for ways to use their marketing time and money to do good in the community, and asked her if she knew of some way we might cooperate to do something good for Kerens. She agreed that we could probably figure something out. She told me they probably were going to have some books on cassette tapes to donate, if we thought shut-ins could use them. We got to talking about that, and about all of my own books I need to move, and that’s how the next Cedar Lake outreach was born: Books on Wheels. We are going to make books and audio books available to shut-ins in our area. All this hasn’t been totally worked out yet, but it soon will be. I think it’s going to be good.
As it turns out, I found another job for Mr. Ingram. He came to Malakoff and did it today. He is a great guy. I’m glad I got to meet him and make his good deed pay off for him a little.