By Juli Stout, Coordinator of Circulation and Marketing
I grew up on a farm across the field from the Wilbur Wright Memorial Birthplace during the 1950s and 1960s. Children’s books in rural Henry County didn’t look much like today’s do. I remember books with very little color – the drawings were in black and white. And the books that I borrowed from the county bookmobile always had a funny “bookish” smell that I couldn’t quite identify.
The bookmobile came to our house every two weeks and if the neighbors wanted any books, they parked in our lower lot. (I thought that the bookmobile came just for us, but I do remember members of the Wilmont family crowding in before I was done! Stinky was two years ahead of me at Millville Elementary, and in one of my many brother’s class. He was always standing right where I needed to be to reach the books on the higher shelves. He showed me the Cowboy and Injun books he had chosen, and I was not impressed.)
There were ten in my family and, I must say, we kept the librarian busy trying to please us. She limited it to two of us on the bus at a time, and we were never allowed to take out as many books as I felt I needed to hold me until her next visit! No matter how stuffy (or stinky!) it got on the bookmobile, my bus librarian always smelled of Cashmere Bouquet dusting powder. I thought that she had the best job in the world, and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to look at ALL the books on ALL her shelves. I loved Miss Patty, and when I think of her it’s with the halo of the bus’ rear-view mirror behind her head. Imagine my shock the first time I stepped inside a library and realized that she didn’t drive around with ALL the books!
The only event that topped a visit from the bookmobile was one from the Jewel Tea man. But that’s another story…