Libraries have always been special to me. When I was a child, we lived
so far out it forced my family to collect books for a library of our own.
There were many great things to read. We didn't know we weren't
supposed to be reading Shakespeare at nine years old. The understanding
wasn't always complete but a wonderful synopsis of the material was made
which allowed an chance for a quicker read when we were older. An English
teacher made the remark, “you couldn't have read Hamlet in such short
have believed me either if I had said, “I've been reading it for years. In
my mind I'm thinking, “can't you tell? There is something rotten in the
State of Denmark!”
aside, I think the most unbelievable use of a library was one I witnessed
when we lived in Dallas. There was a continual following of the story in
the Dallas Morning News about a young mother and her child.
She had moved to
Dallas with her husband and three children. Two of them were teens and one
was a very young child. The woman and her husband had divorced. He was
remarried and the teens chose to stay with him. This left his first wife
homeless with her young child. She stayed in a shelter at night where she
was allowed to leave her child while she worked. No one was allowed to
remain there during the day so the woman had to find ways to stay out of
the weather with her little girl.
The library was
where she stayed the most. The long rows of books, reading stations, and
quiet nooks became a refuge for the woman and her child. Sooner or later
someone reported the situation to the authorities but to no avail. The
woman kept the child so close to her no one was able to snatch the girl,
not even the crafty child welfare people.
once the stories in the paper stopped. Nothing more was published about
the woman and her plight. I always wondered what happened with her. At the
same time there were other thoughts in my mind too. I wondered how a city
of such a great civilization who was so orderly, organized and systematic
could have something like this happen. My small town thinking could not
understand the ways of that city.
that time I had always been happy to brave having my small family there
even though my extended Native American family was in Ponca City. Suddenly
it occurred to me that this sort of thing could happen to anyone. Needless
to say, this was my last foray into the metro cities of Ft. Worth-Dallas.
All at once the simple uncomplicated ways of my extended Oklahoma family
looked very good to me. The aunts, uncles, cousins, mother, father,
nephews and nieces took on a whole different dimension as far as security.
I must say the
decision to stay in my rather humble home in the Osage as never been a
regret. Oh sure, some parts of the city I miss. Orange Juliuses, wonderful
doctors, endless, and I mean endless shopping, opportunities regarding my
art work were just some of the things left behind. But, on the other hand,
one has to consider the balance tilting toward the other decision for
living in a rural location. Learning to really know family members,
sharing in special occasions, having dear one's there when crisis
situations arise are just a few of the positive.
To have had friends from childhood one knows are rooted in their place is
wonderful. Good friends made in the city, of course, are for always, but a
bit difficult to enjoy when they are living in England, Houston or
California. This is the way of the city. A constant moving and changing is
Once in a
while I do hum the tune Buttons and Bows, with the lyrics, “let's move
down to some big town where they love the gals by the cut of her clothes
and I'm all yours in bottons and bows,” but the mood soon leaves and I'm
back to smelling the wild roses on my own front lawn in small town,
U.S.A. Of course, there is no perfect guarantee of security. It just
seems with family about one ups the odds for an escape should
circumstances demand it.