Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing

It’s TUESDAY TALES! This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Snippets are short – 300 words only!
Read Glendora Library, then return to TUESDAY TALES  here for more snippets written to this photo.

(Just a note. The story snippet is fictional. But the part about the flu epidemic, the library closed for two months, and the books wrapped and stored for a year without being touched is truth. I’ve been wanting to include this into Fat and Sassy somehow and this picture prompt gave me the scene. Thank you Glendora Public Library for the fascinating and informative history page you’ve included on your web page!!)

TT_library“Behave on the field trip,” Bea called to Mae, who was leaving for school.

“I will Mama!”

In class the teacher droned on and on … verbs … adverbs … pronouns … the least favorite subject of most of them.

Finally, to the children it seemed like hours later, Mrs. Standish called for attention. “Everyone line up please. Boys in one line, girls in another.”

The girl’s line formed with only a few giggles and little shuffling. The boys pushed. They shoved. They jockeyed for position as if the front of the line was the best place.

The walk to the library a few blocks away was uneventful. Mrs. Standish led the way, two trailing lines of baby chicks behind her.

Mrs. Domer, the City Librarian, greeted the class. “Right this way. Everyone have a seat on the floor. I’ll tell you a little about the library, then read you a story.”

She recounted the past, as if each line were engraved in her memory.

Eyelids began to droop. Yawns spread though the group.

“ … Athena Club in 1903 … free reading room … rented Frank Odell’s house … became part of the Glendora Woman’s Club … “

The children heard bits and pieces. Their minds wandered. Little legs began to fidget. Boys began to poke each other.

“ … flu epidemic …”

Mae’s ears honed in on this little piece of the monologue.

“ … and the library closed its doors in November and December of 1918 because of the flu epidemic. Schools were closed …”

The children giggled. Lucky!

“ … churches were closed. All public gatherings were prohibited. During this time all library books returned from flu infected homes were wrapped and sealed in heavy paper, not to be touched for a year.”

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Comments on: "Fat and Sassy: Glendora Library" (21)

  1. Yes I can see the children being bored out of their minds. You’re referencing the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918

    • Yes, Lindsay, that’s the one. The fun part (for me) was that the tidbit about returned books being wrapped & stored for one year is true.

  2. I love the picture of the early library as a rather stuffy place with boring people. Well painted.

  3. Very descriptive and realistic.

  4. The flu was even scarier then than it is now…I’m not surprised by the details shared here. Lovely scene.

  5. You described the scene so well with the way children might react listening to the history. Great TT

  6. love the boys poking each other- nice!!

  7. loved to description of the children … so true

  8. loving the factoid of the books being sealed. How wonderful that you could include that true fact.

  9. Nice way of incorporating actual facts into your tale. 🙂

  10. wow, thanks for the insight to what libaries had done during flue epidemics.

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