Some people love cars, and I love books. Having books housed in a beautiful Carnegie library makes them feel special. It’s like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a gourmet restaurant. It enhances the experience.
Repairing the library is an expensive undertaking. Everything costs money these days. That’s why people buy insurance. A Carnegie library is irreplaceable.
I like the Carnegie building for another reason as well. It reminds me of the days before money became king. That was the time when wealthy people practiced philanthropy. Instead of using their money to make more money, they endowed such things as schools, libraries and hospitals. They used their money to make life better for the society.
And because they used their money in such beneficial ways, they added value to our lives. As far as I’m concerned, our free public schools and libraries are entities which have allowed Americans to make outstanding contributions to the world.
At a personal level, I have to admit that my mother was not a crying woman. She had a house full of children, and therefore, didn’t have time for crying. Prior to marriage, she had been a country school teacher, and under her guidance, most of us had learned to read before attending school. Our relatives in the city kept us in books most of the time. One time we ran out and let our mother know. We were living in Windsor at the time. Our mother went to town, and when she returned her eyes were red and it looked as though she had been crying. After dinner, she called us to come together and she told us that she had gone to the town’s library and asked to borrow books for us to read. She said that the librarian told her that African-Americans were not allowed to borrow books. My mother then informed us that we were to read the dictionaries until we received books from our family.
I’ve never regretted the days I spent reading the dictionary. From my first day in school, I realized I knew the meanings of more words than most people and by the time I was 7 I had written my first book. So libraries have affected my life in a personal way. On the occasions when I have lived in other cities, the first place I have visited has been the library to get my library card.
I’m glad the McLaughlin building was available as a substitute while our building is being repaired. Its downtown location is convenient for people who use a trip to the library for their daily walk. Reading is very much a part of some of our lives and the last thing we like to do without is books.
It will be wonderful when the buildings are removed that have fallen on Main Street. Downtown Sedalia will look a lot better. We have a lot of beautiful buildings and many of them are standing empty.
Personally, I’m more interested in bringing business and industry to Sedalia, so that people can get jobs so that they can afford to make repairs. Obviously, people at City Hall believe that we have everything we need so we have all the time in the world to clean up.
As the old saying goes, different strokes for different folks.