“Be cautious especially when you cross Seventh Street,” she said holding my hands while looking directly into my eyes.
“Choose a book and come straight home,” she admonished.
I didn’t understand Mom’s trepidation at letting me walk the half mile to the Dixon Public Library. I’d done it a million times; this was the first alone.
That walk was an adventure like I’d never known. Being the youngest of four children, I was constantly accompanied by a sibling. Not today. Excitement pulsed through my body as I hurriedly stuffed my feet into my red Keds. Clutching my library card, I kissed Mom. Exhilarated by the warmth of the bright November Saturday, I skipped down the sidewalk heading toward Hennepin Avenue. I was the happiest first grader alive.
Decades later, I’m still walking to the library and feel a twinge of elation. I recently received a gift copy of Reagan – A Life in Letters and my journey took on new life. A chronical of correspondence President Ronald Reagan wrote throughout his life. It’s a perspective on Reagan portrayed through letters to hundreds of friends and colleagues.
Reagan grew up on Hennepin Avenue. I walked past his childhood home on my way to school and on library jaunts.
In his book, Reagan discusses his love for the library. “I remember with great warmth the old stone building. I would make the long trek on foot down Hennepin Avenue, up the hill and across the street to the library. It was my house of magic,” he explains.
I feel a link with Reagan and the Dixon Library. We walked the same sidewalks. We grew up in the same neighborhood. The old stone building has changed only slightly since Reagan’s days. I’ll continue to make the trek to the library that we both love.
Note: I have joined a writing group that is a bunch of fun! Requirements are that the story has to be exactly 300 words. There are also three required words the moderator of the group chooses – the very first word of the story and two others. I’ll put those words in bold. Enjoy!
Here is the link to the writing group if you are interested in joining! https://simonjwood.wordpress.com/contact/