When I was in fourth grade, I longed to know what was happening in the world beyond the S.H. Kress’s store on Broadway Street and the pulp mill across the Wishkah bridge in Aberdeen.
At Robert Gray Elementary School, 11:00 on Wednesday morning was library time. It was the finest half hour of the week. For 28 short minutes, I could be alone with books. That big old library, with its creaking birch floors and the smell of old books mixed with the aroma of pencil shavings, was my refuge.
I was never sick on Wednesdays. If a cold was coming on, I held it in.
But one day, I forgot my library books at home and wasn’t allowed to choose new ones. I was crushed.