A Surprising Little Place
Buddy and I were walking yesterday morning when we saw a trolley. It was puttering along on our street here in the Historic Cotton Mill District of town. An authentic trolley car is to modern bus service what wooden Chris Craft boats are to modern speed boats. You just know you are looking at something special! I googled Edenton Trolley and we decided to make The Edenton Historic Trolley Tour our excursion for the day. And what a wonderful tour it was, with a guide who knew her tour so well that even though she rode backwards she knew exactly where we were, the history of the houses and the folklore. She’s a wonderful tour guide and hostess.
The second big surprise was to discover the historical marker for Harriet Jacobs. In 2010 I enrolled at Brevard College to take a class in YA Literature. My first editor at BJU Press said my Avery books were YA and I didn’t know what that was; I knew I needed to know that. I enjoyed the class so much that the next quarter I enrolled again and took African American Literature. I loved studying the Harlem Renaissance, poetry, Toni Morrison, and best of all, the Slave Narratives. It was here I first met Harriet Jacobs. She’s my model for courage, sacrifice, and patience. She wrote so brilliantly about her seven-year exile hidden under the roof to protect her children, watching them grow up through her little peep hole, listening to their voices from her silent world. She’s a study in how to make helplessness into strength. And yesterday on the trolley tour, I saw her world. If I knew she was from Edenton, it was a fact I’d forgotten; it was the surprise of the day, yesterday.
I visited the Public Library yesterday to keep an appointment with the children’s librarian. She purchased four of my titles, took my publisher’s catalog to study, invited me to come to story hour in two weeks with Spirit the Tiny White Reindeer, and booked me for next fall to do the Blue-Eyed Doll presentation. That was all a lovely surprise. Little town, big library programs!
Small historic places, big new surprises.