“The trick is to care about everyone without caring what they think.” ~ Unknown
This has been a particularly challenging week in a number of ways and not just for me. Just about everyone I know has run into difficulties somewhere, and almost all of us have felt either really bad or really blah. Mercury’s not in retrograde (or gatorade as Erica Chambers hilariously called it), but you’d think otherwise given the weirdness. Must be that the week started with Tax Day. That’s it! My work week ended with two of my favorite, smartest people: Reinette Jones and Miles Hoskins, and they made up for all the ick of the week. I finally brought back the historic newspapers we’d scanned for Miles. When I say finally I mean years, sadly. We tried to figure out the last time we’d seen Miles and the Montgomery County Historical Society. At one point I think Miles said it was four years, but Reinette and I said no way. Sure enough, it had. Thanks to the outhouse I was able to ascertain that it was March 2015. It’s a good thing he’s a patient man, that Miles Hoskins! He’s had his own brand of purgatory this year with some health scares, so we were extra grateful that he was able to greet us with that familiar Miles Smile and warm hug. The Historical Society has changed a lot, too, adding a large number of new exhibits, ephemera, and artifacts like this awesome circa 1885 Smith and Pattison large format camera. It had been used in a local photography shop until 1911 when it was sold to a local collector. It exchanged hands a few more times before it was donated to the Historical Society. It’s still fully functional with all the aperture plates, two lenses, shutter, intact baffles, and plate holders. I caught Miles standing in front of the camera (note he’s upside down). I’m calling it our picture together. If you ever have the chance to drop in and see him, do.
Boy, they’ll just let anybody into the Drum Center! You met John Johnson way back in 2014 when he was teaching at the Drum Center. Since then he’s gone on to get a cosmetology license, buy and sell a barber shop, play in God knows how many bands and on unlimited records, have a brush with death – thank you Mr. Pneumonia – and now he’s helping out the Drum Center owner/friend by running the shop for a few weeks in between his gigs at Rupp Arena and the local nightclubs. That’s the kind of guy Johnny is. He’d do anything in the world to help a friend in need. I didn’t expect to see him today, but I was plum tickled I did. I love him more that words can ever tell. Always have. Always will. Plus I got to hang with Dave Farris again. I should have bought a lottery ticket on the way home I was having such a lucky day!
I’ve passed Paul Holbrook in the hallways of Special Collections more times that I can count. He is a gentle soul, a kind, soft-spoken man. He has taken really good care of the library’s finest gem, the King Library Press. The beautiful work he and his mighty team of volunteers (below) have created over the years is legendary. I’ve even got a few pieces in my personal collection. Today was a real treat, however. Our graduating student, Johannah Ball, received a special award last week that came with a print from the King Press. All this time she’d been working right above it, and yet she had no idea it was there. I promised to show her this week – which would have been little more than the two-dollar tour – but Ralph (in red), Paul, and the other volunteers gladly took up the charge and gave her the five-dollar tour instead. As they readied for an upcoming workshop, they walked her through the various presses, what they do, how they operate, and what they can produce. It was a beautiful moment when student meets master and what a pure delight it was to see. The King Press really is my favorite place in the library. Maybe one day I’ll have enough time to volunteer so Paul and the gang can to teach me a thing or two.
Alisa Marshall Burnett is my oldest friend. Tonight she told her 13 year old son Riley that she has always known me. Neither of us remember meeting. It was probably kindergarten. Maybe sooner. We used to stay all night with each other. Apparently, I tortured her with music, wanting her to be in my band then chiding her for not staying on beat. I don’t remember that, but I’m not surprised. I had a lot of energy and the personality to match. I don’t know how her mother Imogene put up with me, frankly. I was so different from Alisa. She was sweet, soft spoken, smart, and always, always, always smiling. I was just… loud. Did I mention I had a lot of energy? When I was going through the receiving line this evening at Imogene’s funeral, I was behind four other ladies Alisa and I grew up with; ladies who, as adults, have shared a great bond with Alisa. Outside their group hug Alisa saw me standing, smiling at her. “There’s Kopana,” she said. They made way and included me in their group hug. That’s Alisa. No matter the years or miles between us, she has never forgotten what we shared as girls during those formative years when having one true friend really matters. It’s because of Alisa that I can make and keep friends. She taught me how. And on my way home, as the sun set against Cave Run Lake, I stopped to look. Not so far from here Alisa and her family were laying their mother to rest, at sunset, just like she asked them to do. I could only smile. Thanks for my oldest, dearest friend, Imogene. I’m glad you could deal with me.
For a week now the redbuds have been incredible with little sign of slowing. Conditions have been excellent for their color, as well as many other flowering plants. Bring on spring!
Any day spent with Marlon is a great day in my world.