Good Folks and Good Books
You might have missed this about September: it was National Library Card Sign up Month. The 28th of September was National Good Neighbor Day.
I tried to get a library card in September in Jackson, Georgia. I was at our lake house at Lake Jackson to get some serious writing done for the Butts County Historical Society. Some of those members are also book club members, so I visited book club, and some are part of the Genealogical Society who invited me to their gathering. Somewhere along the way I was introduced to The Georgia Room at the County Library. I visited with the two librarians who are interested in obtaining my books for their shelves, and I was allowed into The Georgia Room. They came up with some wonderful resources for me, but I don’t have a library card. I can’t get a library card because we don’t get our utility bills sent to our place in Butts County. I can produce a bill, but not an envelope with local address.
But, it happened to also be National Good Neighbor Day. I’m quite certain the man I’m going to tell you about didn’t know that. He’s a good neighbor every day. He is so interesting I want to introduce him to you.
His hobby is research. He doesn’t have any degree, he says, and didn’t really like school. But he discovered that he loves to do research and he’s in The Georgia Room often. He visits graveyards. That’s his hobby. He reads the stones until he finds something interesting, clues. It might have been a Civil War soldier, or someone buried in 1700s.
With dates and names, he researches them, sometimes for weeks or months. He discovers what unit the soldiers were in, how many children the farmer had, where they lived, what became of them, how they died.
He could write amazing stories with all his findings. But, he says, “I’m no writer. But, I like to read a lot. I like Civil War stories mostly for reading.” He puts his findings in a file with the subject’s name, and places it in the file cabinet in The Georgia Room for someone to find it who might need that information. I imagine there are folks from the genealogical group that are grateful for his hobby.
When he learned of my predicament, I couldn’t get a library card so I can’t check out these two books to get on with writing my book, he took the books out to the desk and checked them out on his card. He came back grinning.
He said, “Martha asked me was I checkin’ ‘em out for that lady. I told her, I ain’t sayin’. She says, well then, Charles, I ain’t askin’.”
I gave him copies of the Avery & Gunner books and signed them. We both left happy with our books. I love meeting these good neighbors, all part of my writing journey.