I was 25 and working in the small  town of Versailles, Kentucky at an Engineering firm while my husband was attending the U of KY.

Two doors down from the Dollar General Store (the office where I worked was located on the top floor just over the Dollar General Store) stood the Woodford County Library.  I would take walks at lunchtime whenever the weather permitted (God forbid I get my hair wet or my shoes dirty!).   This particular day I was on my way back to the office and right there on the sidewalk in front of the library were five shopping carts (like the ones grocery stores use).  In the carts were library books for sale.  Why would a library want to sell library books?  I didn’t know they did things like that.  I had always assumed when a book got added to a library, it never left.

Fade in….Random citizen walks into the library:  “Excuse me.  I’d like to check out “The Dewey Decimal Dampness of Sunflowers”  by Freidrech Von Shroodemheimer.  Librarian:  “Sorry, we put it in a Kroger’s grocery cart out front and sold it for 50 cents”.  ….Fade out.

I bought just a few.  Some poetry books and then I noticed some that really caught my eye.  They were rather smallish blue-bound with gold leaf Shakespearean plays (love).      I was so happy with my new (old) books.  I couldn’t wait to get them home.

When I got time to read them (between working full-time, attending community college at night,  laundry, grocery shopping blah blah blah……. I opened one and something fell out  from between the pages.  I picked it up and found it was a handwritten receipt from 1927 from a local store.    On it was written out in longhand the items the lady purchased that day.  It was adorable.  Precious.  Not precious in a monetary value way but quaint and charming.   I wondered who the woman was and imaged her shopping in the little town of Versailles darting in here and there in shop after shop.  I imagined her  wearing a long white skirt with a crisp white blouse, leather belt and a straw boater with a navy blue ribbon on the side.  (No wait, she wouldn’t have worn that in the 20’s.   More the style of the turn of the century America)  Oh well, it’s my fantasy and that’s what she’s wearing.  You can make up your own.  Though I doubt she would be out shopping during the day wearing a Flapper style dress.

I’ve always kept the receipt  in that book (through moves from Kentucky to Texas, from Texas to Missouri, and then back to Texas again)  and I always will.

Lovingly tendered ~~ D

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2 responses »

  1. An amazing article, thanks for the writing.

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