Sunday, October 10, 2004

Friday: I subbed at an elementary school library that seems to have been without a librarian since the beginning of the school year. I got a great favor out of a new VM staffer. I attended Friends, Board, Foundation preview function for the city library rededication. An interesting crowd, with a number of folks I was surprised and delighted to see. There was also sadness for the absence of the late Pat M., for whom the fabulous children's room is now named; and some tension over whatever happened that leaves us without a city librarian.

Saturday: I helped set up for the library events, and stayed for speechifying and whatnot. Mayor McCollum surprised me with perhaps the strongest remarks on what it means to have access to free books, information, and people to help you with them. After the ribbon cutting at RPL, I dashed (ha! it took me 40 minutes to go the last 18 or so miles) up to Alexandria to meet F and go to the National Book Festival. It's a swell event, with author talks, book signings and the like. I was charmed by Tom Silva and Kevin O'Connor of This Old House. (Their book on home repair is here.) Shout out to A, who sat in front of me in that tent! I imagined I saw two other people I knew there, too, but one disappeared and the other turned out to be a near miss.

I couldn't stay for all of the Keno Brothers' remarks, but I did stay long enough to hear a story that, surprisingly, I identified with. The twin antique dealers, appraisers and PBS TV personalities were raised by antique dealers and have an eye for very fine things indeed. I, on the other hand, have an eye for (and try to sell) kitsch and collectibles. Les, it seems, had been accepted to Amherst College, but found himself in the 19th (18th?) century house that served as the admissions office for Williams College. And there he saw a graceful highchest; and then he saw nervous prospective students and their parents seated in antique Windsor chairs and he decided to go there, instead. I won't say I chose Mount Holyoke for the antiques in the Newhall Center, but his description made me smile for the similarities.

Thanks to F and her fellow semanarians for an entertaining evening!

Sunday: After the attending the early service at St. Anne's this morning with F, I slipped southward way ahead of any serious traffic. I was bummed to find the old skating rink antiques mall in Dumfries closed. Open, with its slightly scary cross-section of shoppers and sellers, was that flea market at the old white house near Thornburg. I got a very good deal, there, on something that may turn into a gift.

Rambling: I have an idea that there is something I have been meaning to write, but my mind is blank, at the moment. I enjoyed my bookish weekend and the chance to antique on Route 1. Route 1, by the way, is losing its 1950 feel in more and more places. From Woodbridge to Stafford, I saw shiny new strip malls and signs of road-widening to come. South of Fredericksburg, it's only signs of widening. And yet that one old inn and general store continues to stand and lose paint.

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