Before the City of Albuquerque built the Juan Tabo branch library close to our house, Mommy had to drive us to the Erna Ferguson branch slightly further away. My sister and I loved going to the library each week to select the books we'd get to take home with us. During one of the weekly visits I got so excited to show my mother the book I wanted to check out that I started running through the stacks only to end up hitting my eye on the corner of a table that stood at the perfect height to cause some major blood shed and a scar above my left eye that still exists to this day.
Fortunate for me, Mommy had locked her keys in the car that day when we arrived at the Erna Ferguson branch. As blood gushed out of face my mother tried to find a coat hanger to jimmy open our car door. I remember lots of blood on the library's white tile floor and Mommy ushering me into the bathroom to make me a cold compress out of wet, library paper towels.
I was glad when the City announced the opening of the new Juan Tabo branch library. So was my sister and our friend Shelley. They heard that t.v. cameras would be at the opening. I didn't care so much about the cameras as I did the new library I'd get to explore and not have to fear getting hurt in. The Juan Tabo branch was supposed to be much more kid friendly than Erna Ferguson.
The Saturday of the library opening I decided what to wear carefully. I wanted to christen the new library with my favorite, fancy, ivory party dress. Mommy had sewn it for me for special occasions and this seemed like the perfect one for me to wear it to. My sister and Shelley didn't wear their party clothes or even seem to care about the books we'd get to check out. They were camera hungry.
From the minute we entered the Juan Tabo branch, Shelley and my sister hunted down the t.v. cameraman. I'd run into the every so often as I browsed the new shelves of pristine books. We eventually left the library that afternoon, when my sister triumphantly announced that she'd gotten on camera. But that night when we watched the library footage on our local station there were no shots with my sister or Shelley waving at the camera. Instead, the cameraman found a little, brown-haired girl, in an ivory party dress with lace trimmed sleeves, alone in an aisle of childrens' books as she knelt down to select one and then sat on the floor to start reading it. I guess it pays to be a reader...