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I had thought to write this week about the colorful folds of the Kentucky Hills as I cross the bridge from Madison Ind., to Milton. It’s appropriate that the library hangs quilts this time of year because they seem a celebration of the season.
I was all prepared to tell of the saga of getting my car titled and getting a driver’s license in Indiana and the ordeal it became. Or I could tell a funny tale of my little seven-pound dog eating my expensive tri-focal no-line sunglasses.
But recent news events have left me unable to comment upon any subjects but two. The devastating storm that hit the East Coast and the stories of courage, death, sacrifice and even stupidity have filled the airwaves without cease. This one is going to be years getting over, if the folks on the Jersey Shore or on Staten Island ever do.
It was so strange to see Battery Park, where during the summer of 2011 I had boarded the ferry to visit the Statue of Liberty. When I was living in Baltimore, Md., Wildwood New Jersey and Cape May were favorite weekend get-a-ways. A friend near Baltimore who lives on the Gunpowder River (a feeder for the Chesapeake Bay) was without power for days as she watched the river creeping up the rise toward her house.
But was anything worse than seeing the hundreds of homes burning—an entire neighborhood destroyed—while the firefighters watched helplessly.
As a people we owe so much to those referred to as first responders: police, firefighters, medical personnel, the National Guard. Wherever we live, whatever the disaster, we owe a debt to these men and women and should tell them so every day.
And that brings me to that which is foremost in my mind. I share in the sorrow felt by Carroll County as we mourn the loss of two precious children and send our prayers for recovery to those who were injured in the Head Start bus crash and their families.
The best thing about my job as public library director was getting to see toddler time and story hour children as they grew into summer reading program youngsters, and then high school and college students.
Then finally, parents brought their own children to the library. Getting to know the little ones is the part I miss most in my retirement.
And finally, I must express my concern for the driver of the bus.
As librarian, I have known her for years, as a young mother bringing her two small children to the library every day, reading countless books with them; as the wife of a man who was ill for several years before passing; and then as a single mother, determined to get her children through school.
I know the anguish she, too, must be experiencing and hope she has the inner strength to give her peace.
In these difficult times for so many, may we cherish our loved ones, treasure each day before us, and lend a hand when we can.
Jarrett Boyd is the retired director of Carroll County Public Library and resides in Madison, Ind.