Saturday, April 11, 2015


Good Afternoon.

My wife and I are contemplating a move to a different Town and State.

As anyone who has ever moved can tell you it's one heck of a job.
Apart from Selling one's House (2 in our case) deciding what to move and what to sell or discard are just some of the 1001 things we have to do in order to move. Obviously Old Aunt Agnes' circa 1890 Corset need not make the journey, while Auntie's set of solid silver tableware will most obviously make the trip. (Ed note, it should be noted that in truth, neither my wife nor myself had an Aunt Agnes, nor did anyone leave us a Corset, OR a Solid Silver tableware set. ) As one goes through the somewhat timeworn possessions, keeping this, discarding that, donating this to Goodwill or that to the Salvation Army. Tossing the pants that will never, ever fit me again, unless I'm about to run out my personal clock of life, in which case I'll most likely be wearing Pajamas and drool. We will keep a few articles of clothing that while dated, hold some sort of nice memories for us.
We'll keep those articles of furnishings that we most favor, sell some , give some away, and set others out on the curb, hoping someone will "steal" them during the night. We'll take our T.V. s as they are fairly new. Take our keepsakes that have meaning for us, and winnow down the rest, so as to cut down on Moving Costs.

Then comes those items that are necessities to us. All our Family Photographs, Vacation souvenirs, Perhaps even dig up a small shrub or some flower bulbs to plant in our new location.

Then. .. . Comes the Killer. Books and Magazines. Forgive the needless Capitalizations, but these things are really the staff of life to my Wife and I. My wife loves in addition to her hundreds of  books, Magazines. In fact, she owns,in addition to her many books, by actual count, enough magazines to equip all the Dental and Medical waiting rooms, and Barber and Beauty shops in the U.S. and several English Speaking Countries, as well as her books, while I, simple soul that I am, own almost entirely Books.(At this point I should confess that I Do subscribe to one Magazine, a Magazine about books.)

To me, Books are the standard of the staff of life. As Thomas Jefferson said, "I Cannot live without books". And the more rustic Abraham Lincoln went down in History as saying "My best friend is the Man who brings me a book I ain't read"! (And yep, he did say Ain't), so while I'm about the distance to the Moon and back behind these two Giants of History in terms of  accomplishments, the three of us share the Love of Books. Now that, other than the three of us being of the sex and species that normally wear trousers and mind our Wives and Superiors, who, as any fool knows (and who wants to stay in tolerable good health,) are one and the same, do, I'm proud to say, share at least this.

So as the job of winnowing proceeds apace, one thing is for certain. My wife will move her Magazines and I'll move my books if there is room in the truck and my Wife will let me, and by the way. I'm talking about REAL books of paper and Ink, not those instruments , of the devil, The Kindle, and it's kin.

My love of books started when I was a child of about 8 years of age. For some reason, perhaps a request on my part, I received a book, whether for Christmas or a Birthday I don't recall, but the result was that I was firmly hooked on books. As a child, and even on occasion as an Adult, I have mentally shared the feats or fears of the proponent of whatever novel I happen to be reading, for I, as does a Physician friend, read books mainly for escapism. Of course, none of us can really escape the world we live in, whatever trials we happen to be undergoing, current illnesses and so on, but we can sure try.

I can recall, as a child being stunned when I accompanied my Dad to pay our rent, and saw in the home of the landlord what seemed to me to be almost endless book cases full of books. I never had thought overmuch that people actually kept books once they had read them, but from that day on, I did so. Other than whatever few books one of my family happened to own, our literary holdings consisted of the Bible, a set of Comptons encyclopedias, that my Dad had purchased from a pretty Red Headed Door to Door Saleslady. In so doing he obtained three things. 1. was a time payment plan for the books, 2. was the books themselves and 3. was the everlasting habit of my Mom periodically "Mentioning" the saleslady, until all of us could recite her speech exactly.

The rest of the reading material in our home was largely sporting Magazines, as all the men in the family enjoyed Hunting and Fishing. We lived in the country, about five miles from the nearest town, so I was a total stranger to the county Library. As an adult I have tried my best to make full use of the library of any Town we were currently living in. My wife and children were no less faithful patrons of these Treasures of free entertainment and learning.

But for the rest of my life, up until now, I have always loved books and the view of a large and chock full bookcase still thrills me. I had rather hold in my hands an actual, printed, paper and cardboard or leather book than the most expensive E reader available. Books to me smell good, and its a thrill to turn to page one of a new book and hear the rustle of the pages. Holding an E reader, however, is about like holding any other palm sized Electronic, batteries not included, gadget.

Recently I heard someone say "I would forecast that, within five years all printed on paper items will be gone". I hope this worthy was wrong.!

All that I or anyone can really know and appreciate are things that appeal to them, or me. I think that one of the first thing my wife and I did, in our first little and neat New Orleans Apartment, once we both had jobs, was to join a book club, and somehow procure something like a bookcase. today, about 60 years later, we still have a couple of those books from that era. Throughout the years and through all our travels, we have endeavored to keep those books, plus the hundreds we have acquired over the years.

Books serve two purposes to me: Education and Amusement. I have a number of books to refer to when I run across a knotty question(and the older I get, it seems there more and more of such questions) for example, I have a copy of the Federalist Papers, which I mainly procured to look up things discussed by people who are vastly smarter and better read than I. I once said "I can't get through a William F. Buckley column without 2 books by my side. And they were of course, the above mentioned Federalist's and a Dictionary, and occasionally a Bible. Recently our local Library had a book sale, towards the end of which books were going for One dollar per  bag full. Among the books I bought was, I thought, a Biography of William F. Buckley. It wasn't until I got it home that I tardily noticed that it was actually a Bibliography. Now I have little or no use for this volume, but I still marvel at a person who wrote so many Books, Articles, editorials and other columns, that they require a rather thick, Hard Bound book to list them all. We are not supposed to envy, but in this case I sure do.

Now that Mr. Buckley has gone to that great symposium in the Heavens, I have to use the same references when I read George Will.. If it sounds like I cannot think for myself, that, now, is sadly becoming ever more true with each passing year. I still enjoy it when I can remember this or that in History or Today's happenings, but it is getting more difficult. I can, however, read for enjoyment and still to this day recall the titles and Authors of Decades ago, and at my age this is getting to be all I can do. that and a little foray into attempting to at least start trying to write a Novel, which may never be published or even finished.

So, for heaven's sake, whatever your age read, read, read and write, if you are not satisfied with what you have written, stick it in a file and try again.
I have what amounts to the beginnings of two Manuscripts, which may or may not be the embryos of someday books.

Well, I'm tired, and can will imagine you are too.

Keep reading and stay well.

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