Due to my very active imagination, stories have always played a big part in my life. My mom read children’s’ books ‘to me about gingerbread men, kittens and places like the farm, and “Puffs Garden Patch”. Each night she read a chapter of a book to my brother and I; books like Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm, and Just David. There came a time when I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next and would surreptitiously read ahead.
The library in Columbus was on the same block as our doctor. When I was in grade school my brother fell ill with a chronic condition that required hospitalization for an extended amount of time and frequent doctor visits for a considerable amount of time. I also was diagnosed with severe allergies to bee stings and required twice weekly injections for the first year. I spent a lot of time down in hospital waiting rooms in the evenings, unless you were over 12, you could not go upstairs to patients rooms. During those evening I read biographies of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. These men became heroes to me and those books were the impetus for a life-long love of history ad historical characters.
Mom allowed me be go to the library to choose four books every two weeks. Four books was the maximum amount allowed per check out. I read my way through dog books, horse books, biographies. Little Women led to all of Louisa May Alcott’s books. I read Dr. Doolittle and his various sequels, Mary Poppins, Anne of Green Gables, The Jungle Book, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and so many more.
These stories expanded my world from the farm I grew up on in northern Platte County to the Mississippi River to the Jungles of India. I searched for ‘kindred spirits’ with Anne, whitewashed fences with Tom’s friends, traveled the northern trails with Silver
Chief, and wept over Black Beauty’s woes. I was fired with the desire to write my own stories after reading Little Women and all about Meg and Jo, (author), Beth and Amy.
These are just a few of the books that entered my memory as I write here, there were many, many more. Over the years I searched library sales, and summer street sales for these titles and added them to my ever growing library.