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» Saturday, October 26, 2013Books Fall For Us
We had a good, hard frost last night, enough that it looked like the lawn had a light coating of snow. It made everything so stiff that even Willow's 14-pound body didn't make a dent in it. And it was so hard to get out of a nice warm bed!
Still in the 30s when we left the house, clad in heavy jackets. It was beautifully blue with big white brushstrokes of cirrus clouds high overhead. We'd intended to go to the Farmer's Market to pick up a few things, and then swing by the Fall Jonquil Festival before going to a farewell luncheon. Well, we got dumped out of the first almost immediately: there were two other things going on downtown besides the Farmer's Market and there was no parking anywhere. We tried circling and going through the square to see if there were any free spaces, but they were having a heart race and also some sort of fair with local vendors having booths, plus the twice-monthly artists' market. We finally gave up, drove past Bernhard's Bakery for a couple of things for desserts, got James a ham-and-cheese croissant for breakfast and me a bun to nibble on (sadly, no butter with condiments to put on it), and went on to the Jonquil Festival. We actually got there before they were officially opened, but all the booths were pretty much open already and we wandered among the booths, sampling honey, checking out photography and pottery, looking at jewelry and wood carving. The "Lose a Finger" dog biscuit folks were there, so we got Wil her "cookies," and bought a gift for James' mom and sister.
Then we stopped at the Smyrna Library book sale and were happy to see they had some old books. I was happy to find one of my favorite Lois Lenski books, Shoo-Fly Girl, in a box of children's books—Lenski is so rare anymore, and no one gets rid of her books; old library books usually sell for lots of money online—and also an Eleanor Estes book I'd never heard of, The Alley, about a neighborhood in Brooklyn. I've never been a Moffats fan—I like the Melendy kids better—but this looked more interesting (and it has Edward Ardizzone illustrations to boot). I found a newer book, a 19th century mystery, The Yard, brand new in hardback, but of more interest was a history book called The World of Washington Irving and a collection of Christmas stories, both printed during World War II. The latter was of especially interest to me because it was edited by May Lamberton Becker, who took over the the editing of "St. Nicholas" after Mary Mapes Dodge died.
My favorite find, though, was A Treasury of the Familiar, which is a collection of famous poetry and prose—"Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" and "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" along with Washington's farewell speech and the Declaration of Independence, excerpts from Shakespeare, summaries of Aesop, etc. If it's been quoted (like the "band of brothers" line) or anthologized or multiply printed, it's in here.
James also got a 1954 book called Weapons which looks much older than it is, and a circa 1942 cookbook originally printed in 1938. Lots of foods you don't see anymore: sardine sandwiches, aspics, pimento cheese appetizers (I keep hearing old-time radio Kraft ads when I read about spreadable cheese sandwiches!), etc.
For lunch we went to the farewell luncheon the guys had for James Corley, who used to run the hobby shop we went to almost every Saturday. We went to the Tavern 120; I had a French dip with "tater tots," which was very filling, I read for most of the time the guys were model neeping. Someone brought cupcakes and a giant cookie as a farewell dessert.
Anyway, after lunch we did go back to the wild bird feed store, and because the squirrel-proof feeders had a lifetime guarantee (I actually had a second one that needed the inner container; it broke after the wind swept it off the deck rail), they gave us new innards for free. There was a flock of happy birds when I put them up later in the afternoon.
We also stopped at Trader Joe's, which is still chock full of pumpkin everything: scones, macaroons, bread, waffles, cake, butter, etc. James has fallen in love with their pumpkin bars—I find them too sweet—so we bought a supply for the coming months. We also tasted some Italian cheese with cinnamon sprinkled on it; it was unexpectedly delicious!
Finally we headed down to Barnes & Noble and got on the freeway only to see the police checking out a horrible accident. A black car was battered beyond repair in the middle of one lane and there were other damaged cars. We found out later that it was a four-car accident with a fatality, and that the vehicle that caused the accident, a big RV, just drove off after hitting the first car. Unbelievable.
Did find a couple of Christmas magazines at the bookstore, but didn't see another book I wanted until I was starting to walk out, then came upon a graphic novel about three war dogs, one in the first World War, one in the second, and one in Vietnam.
And no sooner did we get home than the mailman showed up with all three of my books from Amazon Vine: a biography of Edward VII, a history of German spies in the United States in 1915, and a book about the 1948 remodel of the White House. I'm quite booked!
Since we had a big lunch we just had soup for supper and watched reruns of Flipping Boston, finishing up with Burton and Taylor.