Honestly, folks. I do write about other things. I figured if you’re following my posts lately that I should let you know that. Tales of a Sierra Madre is my blog hub with links to all the esoteric creative things I wind up doing in this beautiful but strange place called Plumas County. Since I’m more of a writer than a blogger, things over there tend to go looong. I started Throwing Chanclas to be fun! Short! Photo driven! Light hearted and airy. Or something like that.
Anyhow, I’ve received a few emails on here wanting to know if I am a real person and if this book drive is real, etc. Yes. I am a real person. I write for a newspaper by day. I’m also a fiction writer. And I write and produce a play every once in a while. Also? I love books, I have too many, and I’m constantly giving them away. As I think many of you are too.
So this is me. Margaret Elysia Garcia. When I do modeling or anything of that nature I use Greta Garcia. Because ‘Margaret’ sounds like someone’s aunt in an old folks home. Not the sexiest name. And for the reporting gig and when I have to write something innocuous and boring I go by Maggie Wells whom I assume is my doppleganger sorority pledging, well-married twin with no student loan and a much larger house.
But then there’s you! You’ve been sending books. You are amazing. Sunday was hard. I’m from a very gay family–as in lesbian mothers, lesbian sister in law, raised by gay men in the 70s, etc. My best friend from junior high was off at Pride in DC with his new husband and we were doing that FB thang and then bam. Orlando. And it reminded me of the kid in my daughter’s class who always tries to tease the one lesbian girl in class. And I wonder sometimes is there a way that I can personally offset this madness and hatred? Can I give the bully a book ? Will it open her world? Maybe. Maybe not. But I have to try.
And then it was Monday and I stopped by the post office to mail a package and the post master lady said can you pull your car around back?
And then I drove to Greenville High School/Indian Valley Academy and the secretary looked up from her computer and said, “WHAT DID YOU DO?” I walked into the library and saw this:
So thank you. You restored my faith in humanity. And the cool English teacher and our awesome special Ed teacher and the culinary arts teacher–who is used to getting all book requests denied all stood there at different times with their jaws dropped. We are so used to being ignored that it is taking awhile to sink in. I started crying when I opened books. I sniffed in the books. If anyone was watching I’m sure it looked weird. I also cried when I read some of the notes with the books. Full disclosure: my dad and his wife flew my kids out to Wisconsin to visit him and go kayaking in the North Woods so I’m a little weepy this week anyway.
But you people are beautiful. Here are three themes going on in the notes.
- Retired librarians (and current ones ) get really pissed off at closed libraries. I am picturing some kind of librarian march on Washington where you all just shame Congress for continually gutting arts and education.
- You remember where you came from. So many people are writing “I grew up in a small town and books SAVED me. I can’t imagine not having books. Here’s my favorite.” To this I say I know what you mean. I was a very shy army brat and it always took me six months to say hello to people. Meanwhile I just made friends with books.
- You care about the nation’s children and rural America. You send books to open up worlds to them. I opened up a box for LGBTQ teens and cried yet AGAIN.
So from the bottom of my very real heart. THANK YOU.
Tomorrow is my day in the big city–the neighboring town of Quincy (population 5000) but I’ll be back on Thursday–stopping at the post office and the library. I can only imagine what the table will look like then.
So Thank you! And I’m so sorry if I’m slow in answering email. As all people who live here do, I have like six part time jobs (think Northern Exposure). So I can only get to so many at once. Here’s the current wish list for those asking:
And to whomever ( I think it was a few people) sent kindles YOU ROCK SO HARD THANK YOU. My husband the IT guy will be setting them up this summer so they’ll be ready to go come fall semester in September!