Pap’s Library Room

Just like Pap's Library Room - Books Galore!

I can only wish my bookshelves looked like this one … this reminds me of my Pap’s old books all lined up on old wooden turn-of-the-century (18th) wall units that went from floor to ceiling and took up two entire walls in the library room.  I loved to venture into that room filled with books not only in bookshelves but on top the long library table that also had two green-glass shaded lamps I could be swing from side to side.  And I did swing them!  A large oversize chandelier hung above the long library table too.  I always disliked that chandelier and I think Paps did too.  His, fancy wife, responsible for that chandelier never was to Pap’s or my liking.  Actually, I wasn’t allowed into this room.  It was a ‘grown-up’ room for ‘grown-ups’ but when no one was looking I’d turn left instead of right when walking through the vestibule.  Instead of going into the music room where the dreaded piano, among other dreaded instruments, were wanting someone to use them, to practice on them, those instruments that I was persuaded to learn to play and that I detested always waiting for my arrival, instead I turned left and surrounded myself with Pap’s books.  I can still smell the scent of old books.  I can imagine my small hands running across the books on the shelves – wanting to take them down, turn their pages.  I don’t think Pap minded me visits.  Pap was always good for a laugh, a hug, a word of happiness.  I can’t imagine him minding my visits to his library but he may have, had he known of them.  Children, back then, were more subdued, less opinionated.  I can tell you the saying “seen and not heard” was spoken often and taken literally.

Truth is, I never did very well with the music.  I made too many left turns.  Much to my delight, Auntie didn’t seem to notice when I made those lefts although I am sure she was acutely aware of my demure detours as she always seemed to know my where-a-bouts.  You see I did need a watchful eye, I was always exploring and wondering off.  But Auntie knew who I was.  She knew I was no musician.  She knew I was a writer.  She enjoyed my little stories and encouraged me to write them down.  She knew Pap’s ‘room of books’ was where I belonged, at least more so than the music room across the wide vestibule with the long spiral staircase leading to the five bedrooms on the upper level.  Definitely Pap’s library is responsible for the book bug biting me at an early age.

Now, Granny was another story.  Go into her art studio and you were immediately turned into mince-meat.  The only time she took pity on me was when I fell outside on the stone steps and cried.  Her “Angel” oil painting got a tear painted to go with my ear running down my cheek.  That painting hangs in a museum these days.  The museum can keep the painting but the tear is mine!

Mountain View, California was a good place to grow up in.  Back then is was smaller and so friendly.  Last year I went back.  It had changed.  The old Victorian torn down.  No barn.  No wrap around porch.  No glider swing on the porch.  No Pap.

So let me take this opportunity to say thanks Pap for loving books so much and making that room a library – you never knew this but it was that room that made me want so much, in a literal literary sense.  Are you looking down on me Pap?  Do you see?  Do you think I turned out alright?  I hope so.  I love you Pap.


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