|Donn Crites, KD teacher and Halloween Hoot.|
|Luetta Neelly (Hayes) working in the library.|
Luckily, for me I had an audience at home. My daughter, Katy, listened for hours to stories, and who, with a little help from her friends, played out our lives through the antics of simple puppets. We were well versed in Mother Goose and Dr. Seuss by the time Katy was three. I read Dr. Spock's book on raising children, but no where did I find the help I needed as a single parent of a lively daring little girl, so we read and played together. Books became a bridge connecting us. They gave us a quiet time where no one intruded, a time and place away from our lives where we could live happily ever after, if only for a little while.
|Sharon Koehn (Sutto) and Delmer Day.|
I was enthralled with Peck's words and dedication to writing. He'd once been a librarian himself, and after the girls at the private school where he worked burned the card catalog he decided that writing might be a better profession. I must say that Delmer's eyes were as focused as mine on this event. That day I bought my first book Ghosts I Have Been, a novel by Richard Peck. The inscription reads: For Letty Rains, an encouraging friend -- From a grateful author, Richard Peck, 1977. I will keep this book and let those who come after me find a home for it. For inside those covers was someone I came to identify with, and Delmer even remarked after reading the book, "Letty, it sounds like he based his character, Blossom, on you." I thought that was a compliment: one, because Delmer took the time to read the book; two, he journeyed with me to meet this author; and three, he knew me well.
|First autographed book.|
Now the school and the city have brand new libraries, buildings, homes, and tiny trees growing and showing the world the strength and character that real folks are made of. That day I delivered four boxes of books (many autographed memories), and a bag of puppets to the Kiowa Country Library. I hope those books and puppets find loving hands whether they are used in the library, or whether they are sold into the hands of children who want to read a good story. Books need to be read and handed off, not kept on shelves to collect dust.
|Librarian, storyteller, Letty Rains (Watt) begins her journey. (1975-78 Greensburg Elementary School)|