Yesterday after we ate a couple of tacos at the Taco King I went across the street to the used clothing and furniture store to check out the possibly of picking up a bookcase for the Growlery. After all, a Growlery without books is simply a glorified shed. Well, I guess to most eyes it's still just a shed. Only now it has books.
I got lucky. I found one, $45 - perfect length and with the same ham-fisted homemade look of my desk. I believe we have a style trend going on here. Lorna and I tried to load it in our only vehicle, a Honda CRV, but no matter how I twisted it around, it would simply not go in. Jake's Pizza was just up the block. I know that both of the owners drive pickups, but alas, it was after 2:00 and they were gone to the golf course. So I carried my prize back into the store and we headed for home, hoping to borrow a truck back in Oakwood.
I walked up Oakwood Drive and the first pickup parked in a driveway was at Kepple's, three doors up the street. I rapped on the door and pulled Bill away from the last of his lunch. I also knew his late brother, Paul. It was said of the Kepple brothers, that in the end, Paul would have all the money and Bill would have all the friends. Paul was okay too, but which would you rather have for a neighbor? Bill is a good man. Last year he finally, finally gave up his volunteer job coaching the girl's tennis team. He is bright, spry and alert ... and 92 years old. Bill behind the wheel of the truck, we went to fetch the bookcase. In spite of his protestations I unloaded and carried the shelving down to the Growlery by myself. At 92, I'm giving the old boy a pass on moving furniture. And he gave the Growlery two thumbs up.
Even after adding another wall of shelves in our office a few years ago and giving away books, we have more books than bookshelves. This afternoon I moved some of my books down to the Growlery. Apparently the designer of the bookshelf didn't actually measure a book. The top two shelves are pretty much useless unless your books are Zane Grey mysteries or pulp romance novels. I stuffed them in as I could, sorting them mostly by book size rather than subject. Speaking of which, they say you can judge a man by his library. If so, I am one strange man. Enough said. Also thanks to Tom Sanders for the two exquisite Japanese Garden books which showed up at my door last week - freebie, including the shipping. Tom, what can I say? You are a good man.
For cigars I normally use an ashtray made from an end of one of my late father-in-law's worn firehoses. Recently, I've switched to the heavy glass ashtray that my uncle Harold gave me. He is about the same age as Bill Kepple, but instead of hauling furniture, he is fighting off Alzheimer's and is hopefully nearing the end of his long road.
And on that upbeat note, I'm signing off.