L is for Library & Lady

Callaway County Public Library

I’ve probably spent more hours in this building than I have in any other place.

It was my refuge as a child. I spent hours looking at 3-d photo cards with the old stereoscope viewer, while the stern librarian Mrs. Mittwede, kept a watchful eye from her high desk.  I read my way through all the Anne of Green Gables books, all the Nancy Drew mysteries, and even the Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan series.

Later, as a young married woman, I trudged through the snow to browse the name books and picked out Kenneth for the baby boy we were blessed with the following July.

After we moved out to the farm in 1965, I didn’t make it to the library very often, because I didn’t learn to drive until I was thirty years old. (a story for another time) When I finally did get my license, I started looking for a job. My husband insisted we didn’t need a second income, that it would cost more for me to work than I could earn.  But I was going stir-crazy, and he knew it.

The Callaway Nuclear Plant was under construction and I wanted to apply there, but he said a construction site was no place for a woman.

One day he was reading the newspaper and came across a “help wanted” notice from the library. He brought the paper into the kitchen and pointed at the ad. “Look! This is perfect for you, this is a place where you can work and be a lady!”

That was in August of1979. For some reason, Mrs. LaDonna Justice, the sweetest boss anybody ever had, took a chance on a rough-edged farm wife and gave me the job.

The library is a wonderful place to work. A great place just to hang out. For years I was amazed that I got paid to go to the library every day.

But my husband is still waiting for the library job to transform me into a lady!


This entry was posted in A to Z April Challenge, Family History, Memoir and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to L is for Library & Lady

  1. Alex Daw says:

    Ah this post makes me laugh. I’m only new to Libraryland – been in it for just about six years now. One friend’s son could not believe I got a job in a library. He declared I was the loudest person he knew!

  2. Linda Curry says:

    What a perfect job for you. I think I would have enjoyed being a librarian, but of course the job has changed dramatically over the past fifty years.

  3. It was a simple (which is so difficult to get by!), light and fresh read! I was instantly transported in the time machine to see your journey from a little girl who visited the library to the day when you still continue to do so, everyday, but for the different reason.
    Loved the end… and I suppose not a single husband on earth would ever find a lady in his wife…hahahaha!
    Anagha From Team MocktailMommies
    Collage Of Life

  4. Trudy says:

    I love going to the library, and I love that my daughter and grandchildren love libraries too! I volunteered in a middle school library for 10 years and enjoyed it. What a fun job!

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Lobster

  5. I like your memoir style and subjects. I’m trying to do something similar this year. The library probably was a much better place for you than the power plant, and I think you probably are a lady, lol.

    • carolynbranch says:

      Thank you, Shirley! I don’t really have a theme this year, so I’m just floundering around, making lists of words. You wouldn’t believe how many L words I fiddled with before it dawned on me the natural subject was library – where I’ve spent more than 35 years. Duh!

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