Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Chatting About Daily Chit Chat

Gerald and I took the pickup over to the body shop this afternoon. We were finally able to pick up our car today. The twice-replaced back right door looks great. I hope this door lasts longer than the first two.

I drove on to Carbondale as I had a Trail of Tears Association board meeting tonight, and I have been needing the car to claim my re-soled and repaired Birkenstocks from Shawnee Trails. They’ve been ready for a while, but I had no car to go get them. The management there is so accommodating. I apologized for being so long in picking them up, and the man was so nice that I was almost made to feel I’d done them a favor for being so poky! Once again for far less than half price, my returned Birks looked like a new pair. And choosing repair over brand new helps the environment as well.

While I was that close to 710 Book Store, I couldn’t resist the pleasure of going in to look at the books. I was delighted to find a copy of the late Normagene Warner’s Standing on Tiptoe, one of the most beautiful and honest accounts of losing a child that I’ve ever read. You can no longer order it from Amazon, so I was delighted to find a couple of copies there, and I bought one as I think I gave my last one away. Copies of the late Dr. Ben Fox’s two books were also there.

Earlier this week I finished Cinnamon the same day I started it. This account of the trekking the Appalachian Trail was fascinating and enlightening. I am also thoroughly enjoying Rowena McClinton’s translation of the diaries from the Moravian mission in pre-Trail of Tears Georgia. I won’t finish these two hefty volumes in a hurry though.

Diaries and journals are probably my favorite genre because they are composed of such simple day-to-day activities that end up making a life. Yet the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. One of my all-time favorites is The Diary of Helena Morley, which Elizabeth Bishop translated. It is the wonderful diary of a young girl in Brazil telling of the daily life in their village. I used to order it through inter-library loan, but with the Internet, I was able to buy my own second-hand copy.

In much the same way, I have always been attracted to the weekly journalists who write personal columns about the Smith family spending the day at grandma’s house and little Suzie Jones being sick with the flu. There was a time in my life that I read probably 25 or so of these community columns a week--about people I did not know from neighborhoods with names like Possum Hollow or Tool Shed Corner.

One of my weird writing goals was to write such a column, and I did accomplish that for about nine months. It was some of the most difficult writing I ever did.

The Johnson County Genealogical and Historical Society is publishing a book of Harry Nave’s columns from some decades ago, and I am eager to read his book. I find it exciting that he wrote a book without knowing it--one weekly column at a time.

No comments: