He was devoted to the Lewis Meyer Bookshelf, a Sunday morning show on Channel 6 KOTV, with the host reviewing the latest books in his shop in Tulsa on Peoria. The last thing he said before ending the program was a simple phrase, "The more books you read -- The TALLER you grow."
As the years went by, it was turning out to be literally true. My son, kept reading AND he kept getting taller! Now all these years later, he is bound to be over a foot TALLER than me!
Anyone who ever had a bike of their own remembers how special it was, how it fit, color and usually longs to ride it once more. That was me and my son, Dana Jim. We had those kind of bikes and took them in the back of our pickup when he was in high school to Tulsa to ride the River trails, which on a bike is not far from the Lewis Meyer bookstore, so of course we went there, locked our bikes to a pole outside and went in holding our helmets to enjoy the shop and to shop, knowing no one leaves without buying a book. But as we walked out, both of our bikes were gone. We were helmeted, bike-less people. Mr. Meyer was appropriately shocked at this occurrence.
Last year, Tony Booth, who had been one of LEAD's board members for years, walked up the ramp to our office 30 years later with one of the bikes, the red Schwinn Mesa Runner with new handlebars. Tony had bought it for $5 at an auction and was donating it to LEAD because we are all about getting people back on bikes. Dana's bike was back like magic you would read at that bookstore. And suddenly we recalled Mr. Meyer saying, "I think people who spend time with their noses in books are the happiest people. "Because books never let you down." And getting your bike back works, too.
Talk about books and someone who loves books that's JoAnn Walkup. She graduated and got the 50 year reunion sweatshirt from Miami High School, and she started a dream career when she worked in that library. Her whole life's work has been in libraries and you have to know books tended to follow her around those 50 years. But this week she decided to lay some on LEAD Agency.
JoAnn recently listed her home, and it sold quickly and reality hit her: she had to empty it right away. She has a giving-heart, so this week she has been "hearting" lots of people and places most of her processions...
And LEAD Agency was on both the "bring a pickup" and the dropping by with a few things lists. Precious children's books, some for our treasured Little Free Library, and some will be kept on our most loved book shelves in the office. Other books she was compelled to gift us were environmental, Indian, birds and garden themed. Think about birds? A stack of books, also binoculars, games, cd's AND actual birdbaths with a heater to keep water from freezing this winter, (if we have a winter) and a Bird Call! It was like that for gardening, too, with plant stand, books, a red azalea and what she called a tulip tree, both in large pots. These required a set of garden chairs and a settee of course to watch birds and rest from the gardening.
Resting from gardening should have been what Jamie Munson and I did today after hours in the beautiful spring like afternoon. Who else to get and proudly wear that blue MHS Wardog sweatshirt, but a "girl" athlete who did all the sports offered to girls back in the day.
JoAnn knows LEAD is always thinking about how to keep the lights on at our office, so among the items she gave might be matched with a good bottle of wine for a Silent Auction such as the one of a kind book by a MHS alumni, official Coleman Theater memorabilia and a colorful plate with a motto: until further notice... celebrate everything, which seemed appropriate with the joy she was experiencing while lessening her load with us.
We are the silent keepers of a set of Pueblo pottery Storytellers her brother Bob Walkup had given her over the years. Keeping until her next home or nest is ready for them. What perfect gifts for his sister, the champion "storyteller" herself. Lots of her stories begin with a book and then take you off to what happened to who read it and what they are doing with the rest of their lives. Books written by then quite classmates she never imagined had a book in them.
And there is balance when the whirlwind of a woman left to find her next gifting, took a moment to sit out by the Little Free Library, made richer with her books.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim