Posts Tagged ‘miss’

What We Have Lost…

June 9, 2010

Gone, but not forgotten. Nothing but memories now, but what good memories they are…
I am remembering idyllic hours spent in Paul’s Book Store, in University City, a few years ago, before the big chains and franchises ran most of the independent small bookstores out of business. Before, when books stores had books and cards and calendars – not Blue-Rays, DVDs, CDs, and it was enough, more than enough, if you loved books.
Paul stocked everything worth reading. No romance novels, few best-sellers or blockbusters, but if you wanted a calendar of sumi-e brush painting, Paul’s had it. If you wanted a local poet’s chapbook, Paul’s would probably have it. Or some hard-to-find historic tome – check Paul’s first. Obscure fairy tales – you knew where to look. They had literature for recovery, women’s studies, gay/lesbian-bi-sexual/transgender – when the big chains did not handle those items, for fear they would get picketed or not make a profit.
This was a store for book lovers. Artists. Philosophers. Poets. The avante-garde. Outsiders. College students. Parents who wanted more-than-Disney books for their children to grow up on. It was a safe haven and meeting place for intellectuals.
I bought my first copy of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones at Paul’s Books. For creative writer, Paul’s was an excellent resource, well-stocked with everything for the lover of words!
When the big chains starting putting the small independent bookstores out of business, it affected the small independent publishing houses as well. And the writers were further restricted – there were fewer vehicles to publish work that did not fit into mainstream categories. This was before the Internet was well-known to the general public.
I miss Paul, the store, the books, the cameradie. I don’t know what happened to Paul himself after the store closed. I hope it is a happy ending.

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Little Things

May 21, 2008

It’s those little things people remember about you, you know.

 

It’s not all the work you did, your big accomplishments, awards you achieved, contests or contracts you won.  It’s the little off-the-record comments that make people miss you.  After you’re gone, I mean.

 

One of my co-workers died a couple years ago.  A very nice guy named Denny.  He did good work, knew his IT, served his country, but I remember the little things.  I found some salt water taffy in the community candy dish…it reminded me that Denny used to bring the freshest, softest taffy back every time he returned from visiting his mother out East.  He also would bake bread a couple times a week and bring it in to the office to share…

 

It wasn’t just the food – it was Denny’s thoughtfulness.  He brought an ice scoop and a cup to rest it in so we didn’t have to use our hands to get ice…and a plastic pitcher with a line marked so we’d make never-fail coffee… he brought his spare drill into the office, just in case…it’s come in handy a number of times… 

 

Denny was genuinely cheerful – not in a fake perky sort of way – when he said, “Happy Tuesday!” – he meant it.  His joy de vivre was contagious – I felt better when he was around. 

 

So even though I didn’t know Denny well, I remember him, and I miss him.  For his practicality, his thoughtfulness, his smile, the way he always said, “Thank you, thank you!” – all the little things that made him Denny.

 

…Makes me wonder what people will remember about me…

 

© Kerry Vincent