The Chronicles…Chapter 9…Walpole Library

The Chronicles….
….Chapter 9….
….Presenting at the Walpole Library

The day, Thursday, Dec. 6, which had started so peacefully in the chill of the morning hours, a light fog quickly evaporating, the sun coming to full glory, was starting to become almost ancient history now. It all seemed so long ago, lost in the shuffle of roads, and traffic, and lights, and the business of the coming Holiday.
The frantic late day into early evening dash to find our camp for the evening, the rapidly approaching hour of our appointment at the Walpole Library was catchng us a bit undone. Feverishly we finally parked the Carriage at the evening’s inn, registered in the outdoor glass booth (hhhm, I must say I never saw anything like that before, no entrance to the inn’s office, only outside communication, much like you see with a bank teller’s window, sliding steel tray and all), and quickly gathered our thoughts before heading back out, in the carriage, to the Library at Walpole. T’was dark and cold, the chill in the air moving us along, the carriage offering an uneven ride over uncertain terrain, our device faultlessly guiding us on our way.
We arrive at the Library… I am continuously intrigued by the modern Libraries of America. At a time when it semed that the Library as an institution would be moving off the information landscape, they seem to have re-invented themselves. We see that they have community rooms, and stacks of books, of course…and other means of information retrieval, all lorded over by seemingly the nicest people. And most Libraries have ‘Friends’ groups, as well…
The Library is a fascinating place. I recall, when I wa so much younger, going into my home time library…you almost had to walk on your toes, and be quiet, the smell of the place is unforgotten, unlike quite anything else, once you have smelled it, you do not forget it…the volumes giving off the scent of many ages past, they sit there, one atop the other, in shelves lined up like soldiers, awaiting your perusal. Information at your finger tips, all well cataloged and accessible.
Ancient libraries reverberate in our minds…what knowledge was lost at Alexandria, or during the inquisition, or during the Holocost…those places that were destroyed out of the fear that the people might learn.
Here in America, the first notable Library is at Harvard College in 1638, and Ben Franklin institutes a lending Library in Philadelphia in 1731, some many years later Thomas Jefferson’s personal Library becomes the seed for the Library of Congress, in 1814. Time, and knowledge, have been kind to Libraries, with the need for a source of information in almost every neighborhood, they were there…improved by information retrieval systems like the Dewey Decimal system, in 1876, and then the most generous funding of public libraries by private donation, inspired by Andrew Carnegie whose generosity established some 1600 public libraries. I do not know if the Library at Walpole was one of those, but it is here now, and so are we…
We enter the well lit and comforting interior and move to the community room… for this night, this is where we shall present a program, concerning our March to Yorktown/Boston.
We find an entire table top laid out with a dinner for us and ‘Friends’, all home prepared it seems, by our host and new friend, Sally Rose, who, along with others of like mind, have made sure we have a warm and comfortable meal before addressing the group. Ahhh, a good meal indeed, and in good time, as well…in our rush to get here we had been unable to have an opportunity to do much more than grab a cup of coffee… many thanks to Sally and the ‘Friends’…
We gladly partake of the meal offering while the community room starts to fill up with folks who have come to hear us. Not only that, we find that the evening’s presentation will be visually recorded for posterity, and perhaps, playback on the public viewing system n Town. Oh my, we do not have a make-up lit with us…;-)
The publick will just have to take us as we are, and it seems, they are quite willing. We managed to get on with the presentation admirably, I believe… there was also a very fine and spirited ‘question and answer’ period after that we all seemed to enjoy. But alas, the evening comes to an end, and again, we must pack up our Colors and charts, Maps and hats, and navigate back to the evening’s resting stop, the inn, or perhaps I should say, room for let.
We retire for the evening, the five of us (Judi included) into two separate rooms. Dave and Judi in a room at the other end of the building, we three in ours. Our suite is quite warm, almost to the point of annoyance, but that is always better than cold, no doubt. The three of us stay awake a bit later to enjoy a gill of spirit and some talk, letting the day fall away from our shoulders, finally. It is so warm in the room that I sleep atop the covers…

Next Post…Walpole to Dedham, Getting Close to Boston

Kind Regards,
Richard Swartwout
Scribe, Teamster
America’s March to Yorktown 2012
The March to Boston

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