Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Library

It's almost 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and due to some family drama, only worth noting as an explanation for the tardiness of this post, I was almost going to skip posting today. I figured, who cares anyhow? Turns out that I do. So, as I often do, I headed to the nearest library to find whatever was to be found. And, as usual, I found plenty!

I roamed the History section, perusing everything between the First Crusade and up to the end of the Cold War. (The Cold War is one of my favorite subjects because I grew up during the height of it.) From there it was on to the Biography section, where I dropped in on the likes of Stalin, Newton, Peggy Lee (read that one once), Asimov (outstanding autobiography) Danny Thomas, Ben Franklin, Lincoln and so on. Then I got to the Oversized Books where I stayed for almost an hour. There were books of Photograhs from the late 1800's by Jacob Riis in New York and photos of the San Francisco Earthquake alongside photobooks of the Great Depression and the more contemporary masters like Ansel Adams. Even today's visual arts, including Grafitti, were represented on those shelves. The picture at the top of this page is "Still Life with Female Bust" by artist  Everett Spruill. I'm generally more of a traditionilist; I like Monet, Manet, etc., but this painting is so vivid and colorful that it cannot help but affect the viewer in some way. And it did, so here it is.

I took out an oversized book of Norman Rockwell paintings, two books on history and 6 DVD's. Two are documentaries that I have not seen before, the History Channel's "History of the Joke" with Lewis Black and Volume 4 of the PBS Series "Eyes On the Prize." Having just watched "Mississippi Burning" last week I wanted to see some old, archival footage of the actual events portrayed in that film.

The point of this is not to fill space, but rather, to highlight the need for Public Libraries in the first place. They serve as a destination for all ages and ethnic groups. They are a reflection of our culture. And on a cloudy day in my heart, they serve as a light to my soul.

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