Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Libraries, Always a Haven to Some

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Libraries, Always a Haven to Some

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. | They may be the most civilized places on earth, the alcoves and rooms where readers quietly turn pages and muse over the musings of others.

Some they ponder, some they dismiss and some they don't get in the first place - or maybe ever.

I seldom stray from the fiction section of any library, but a few days ago, I wandered to the nonfiction side at the St. Simons Island branch, and then past it to an area with comfortable chairs and big books. "Lighthouses," a big picture book, caught my eye, since I've seen a few from Michigan to Maine, to Florida and places between.

It's a coffee table book and, on a sheet of paper in the front, Iowans Scott and Tricia Slechta laid out the multiple purposes of their gift.

"Use this book either as a memorial and honorarium OR as a book sale fundraiser item in tribute to those friends and acquaintances we have made throughout our summers at St. Simons Island."

I recognized a few, such as the late author Eugenia Price, Joyce Blackburn, the late Elise Permar who founded the weekly The Islander, Tim and Melissa of Sandcastle Cafe, Eileen Hutcheson, Eileen Humphlett, Mary Miller and Joan Harris.

The little reading area at the island branch library is a rare place. It looks out over Neptune Park and St. Simons Sound, and is screen-free.

Groucho Marx said, "I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."

In today's world, Groucho would get in a lot of reading. Whoever thought you'd see Fox News on a gas pump? I'd rather see Groucho, Chico and Harpo in an excerpt from "Duck Soup."

Wednesday was hot, in the 90s on the island, and there were only a couple of chairs left in the library reading room.

A man in motion in a rocking chair read a magazine, and a woman in a glider rocker read the business and finance section of a newspaper. …

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