Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 28, 1991

Middleton hosts the South Central Library System's Summer Library Program workshop.  Approximately 120 attendees are squeezed into the basement meeting room.  Despite my fears, the day seems to go well.  Shortly before noon, I serve as a tour guide for a group of 25.  What do I hear when I ask for questions?  Do you have any job openings?  The library makes a strong, very positive impression.

Since Sharon is not feeling well, I volunteer to work the evening shift at the reference desk, which results in a 12-hour workday.  At first, I continue the gratifying progress  I made on the long-range plan revision during the afternoon.  Before leaving the library, I transcribe calendar notes, mostly from a few days before the wedding to July 1986.  What dramatic changes:  new lifestyle, new job, new home, new realizations.  

1940s Downtown Melbourne, Florida (Postcard)


Monday, February 27, 2012

February 27, 1991

The Finance & Governance subcommittee meeting, scheduled for a full morning and afternoon of torture in Middleton's conference room, lasted less than 90 minutes, to everyone's surprise.  Some of us were expecting a contentious day with Peter Niemi, but since our last meeting, the Madison Public Library board has seen the light.  Suddenly, I have a freed-up day, but I'm not in the mood for work.

The library bandit was apprehended earlier in the day, just after midnight, to be exact.  Turns out to be just the person I would have fingered, Don's son-in-law, a surly, swaggering son of a bitch.  Considering I saw him only once, that's a pretty strong opinion.  I keep wondering if my feelings were based on latent racism or if I simply had an encounter with a walking, walking, make that mumbling, stereotype.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

With this 6/18/2000 line-up, no wonder the Brewers were 28-40

From a time when the Brewers baseball seasons were long, frustrating, and uneventful.

February 26, 1991

Instead of leaving the house early, I decide that exercising is more important than a thorough review of my lecture.  The result:  the rockiest session to date.  A few times I feel as though I'm performing without a net.  I may have even been incoherent for the briefest of times.  The mouth was running and the brain was racing to keep up.  I do admit that session 4 is my least favorite lecture and one that will be completely revamped between now and 1993.  At least from this point I nowhere to go but up.

I stop at Madison Public to photocopy some pages from the U.S. Code.  Great machines they have there.  One accepts only nickels and produces almost illegible copies.  Another accepts dimes, but the change machines spits out only quarters and nickels.

During the afternoon before going to the library, I respond to my wife's nagging by getting a haircut and a physical.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

1940s Downtown Marion Virginia (Postcard)

February 25, 1991

I spend the morning at the reference desk working on a project that will allow me to kill two birds with one stone:  a chronology of library happenings in 1990.  It's this week newspaper column as well as a page for the community annual report.

I pick up Andy at daycare and tend to a fussy Eddie-guy as soon as we return home.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 24, 1991

A day to rest, to stay in and accomplish nothing outside of taping some tunes.  I venture outside of the house only once -- to drive to a TYME machine to get money to pay Barb.  I attempt an early afternoon nap, but the TV in the bedroom is too intrusive.  A few hours later, I sack out to no background accompaniment.  Problem is, Andy wants to play and interrupts my sleep a couple of times.  Once I get up, though, I feel extremely rested.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Downtown Pottsville Pennsylvania Between the Wars (Postcard)

Lots more Pottsville photos from where this example came from.

February 23, 1991

I'm an early bird again.  I stay up and begin to review the stack of CDs I've checked out of the library during the past week.  I also get the grocery shopping done by 9 a.m.  The rest of the day until the early evening is uneventful.  We have company for supper.  Jill and Lee, and their two boys, Kyle and Connor, and Kathy and her boyfriend Dave.  The boys have a squealingly good time in the tent and get along very well throughout the evening.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1940 Downtown Winchester Virginia (Postcard)

February 21, 1991

Not wanting to skip my exercise, I can't get to the Library Legislation Day program at the Inn on the Park on time.  I visit with Travis and one of Feingold's aides.  Between visits, I walk around the Square and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather and run into JoAnna with two of her clients on the way back inside.  I stop by Chuck's office but he's not in.  During the morning, I get a chance to talk with John, Gloria, and Sarah.

Bad news when I return home for lunch.  Barb reports that the microwave doesn't work, and my fuse replacements -- which necessitated two quick trips to the hardware store -- do not restore power.  I'm late for the forum meeting.  No matter.  It's a very casual get-together of library directors.

I call Eric and he eagerly comes to my rescue.  After the fix, he joins us around the table for some extended conversation.  I think how nice it would be to have all my old friends within easy visiting distance.

For the first time in my 41 years, there's a TV in the bedroom.

"I feel like I'm in a motel room," I comment to JoAnna before nodding off.

Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20, 1991

I should be working on the library's annual report for public consumption.  Is it really worth the effort? I wonder.  Last night I said no and spent the last hour at the reference desk transcribing notes.  During the afternoon, I met with Rob Zimmers and spent about $500 on nonfiction books.

While driving to pick up Andy, I look forward to a mellow evening.  Eddie has other ideas.  He carries on so inconsolably, I find it impossible to concentrate on anything else.  Andy and I go to bed early.  I let him sleep with me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

1940s Downtown Portsmouth, Virginia (Postcard)

The Gates Theater was closed and demolished in 1957.

Apparently, downtown is now Olde Towne.

An aerial view of downtown Portsmouth, courtesy of Wikipedia.

February 19, 1991

My approach to the start of the day is much too leisurely.  I leave the house for Radio Hall just in time to join the coagulated flow of peak morning drive time along University Avenue.  I have only 15 minutes to review my lecture notes, but I'm already well prepared, so the session goes very smoothly.  I read the case study over the air and the resulting discussion goes well.  I stop at the continuing education office to pick up the homework assignments, but the woman there doesn't even offer to help.  A phone conversation is her top priority.  She tells me to come back in 10 minutes when an unnamed person will be out of her class.  Linda?  To pass the time, I browse through some of the record stores on State Street, looking for Savoy Brown's Raw Sienna and Looking In on CD.  I'm tempted to buy Blue Matter or A Step Further but resist the urge, JoAnna's admonition ringing in my ears.  The rest of the day is routine.  I go to bed as soon as I get home from work at 9:30.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 18, 1991

Another Monday, another sore throat.  Nothing serious, but enough to make me wonder if the beginning-of-the-week stress level is starting to get to me.  I spend a busy morning at the reference desk and complete my column for the newspaper before lunch.  I stay til past six -- crazy all day.  I'm too tired to go to JoAnna's basketball game, and even Andy appears a little rundown.  We both go to bed after Murphy Brown.  I read him a story and then the two of us sack out for the night.  I barely recall JoAnna's return home, lifting my head off the pillow and then falling immediately back to sleep

Friday, February 17, 2012

February 17, 1991

Sunday is a day of rest, even when I have to get up early to tend to my little Eddie guy.  JoAnna sleeps in until 9.  I'm thinking about an uninterrupted day at home until JoAnna talks about going shopping, all of us.  I suggest we check out the Land's End outlet and what a bonanza.  I pick up three pairs of pants, two shirts, and a turtleneck.  JoAnna scores two skirts, two tops, and a sweater.  This amazing haul totals less than $150.  During our stroll through the mall, we run into Kathy Wiese and her boyfriend..  She now works at Eddie Bauer -- the East Towne store.

We fix tacos and burritos for supper and then settle into an evening to TV.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 16, 1991

I wake up around 5 feeling completely rested.  When Eddie starts fussing, I volunteer to give him his bottle.  He goes right back to sleep, which gives me some uninterrupted time of reorganizing my notebooks.

I get a little bit tense before we leave for the circus, mostly over concerns about my bowels.  And sure enough, as soon as we reach our seats at the Coliseum, I have to locate a rest room.  Fortunately, one good grunt completely evacuates my bowels.

Both Andy and Eddie behave like angels.  Andy pulls one of his shy-boy stunts, and at the last minute, refuses to board an elephant after I've spent $8 for tickets for the two of us.

Otherwise, it's an uneventful day, one that provides no opportunity to be by myself until 9.  JoAnna buys a TV and figures we can set it up immediately.  I tell her otherwise, but she won't believe me.  I predict this second TV won't be ready for viewing for days.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Post-WWII Downtown Sumter, South Carolina (Postcard)

February 15, 1991

Jo leaves early for Milwaukee.  I volunteer to drive Andy to daycare.  An overnight snowfall leaves Madison streets in very poor condition and prevents me from getting to work on time.  As soon as I walk into the library, I see Sharon storming toward the exit, pushing the vacuum cleaner with a ferocious determination.  For the second time in two weeks, we have no cleaning service.  When I call Don Gibson, a recording tells me that the number has been disconnected.  Figuring that I dialed a wrong number, I try again.  Same result.  I call an operator and she informs me that the disconnection is due to lack of payment.  I then shift into crisis mode, talking to Joel and Hank about the library's options and am a bit put out when they put a resolution of the problem entirely in my hands.  It's a relief to find Don at home and a bigger one to learn that my crisis is news to him.

It's a long day.  I'm so tired that all I care about is going home and sacking out on the couch.  I'm in bed before nine.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Forever Valentines: Are We a Match or What?

February 14, 1991

I start off the day's specialness with Valentine cards and pictures of Andy and Eddie placed strategically on the dining table.  At lunchtime, I stop at Middleton Floral to buy a corsage for JoAnna, but naturally they're too busy for any additional orders.  Not wanting to walk away empty-handed, I purchase one dozen red roses.

JoAnna and I meet Larry and Martha at the Top of the Park.  We arrive first and immediately order drinks.  "Are you going to order a martini?" JoAnna asks   The waiter takes her order then walks away.  I wave him back to be more specific, but  he still brings me something "different", a martini with a twist instead of an olive.

Dinner at the Blue Marlin is outstanding.   I order a filet mignon stuffed with oysters.  As the evening progresses, I occasionally wonder if it appears obvious that I've had too much to drink.  I'm not in the mood to give it much thought, though.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 1991

The work pace at the library has slowed down considerably.  Today I think I must be forgetting some important task.  But when I ask myself, "What am I overlooking?", nothing comes to mind.  I certainly don't need to develop my ETN notes anymore.  I have more than enough information to impart to my students.

I take an extended lunch to run errands.  I buy circus tickets, Valentine cards, picture frames, another notebook for my reorganization project, then browse the jewelry stores in the mall for gift ideas.  JoAnna will have to do without another bracelet or pendant.  Fearing I'd pick something outrageously expensive, I didn't even ask to look at anything.  I return home before JoAnna, which means I get to prepare supper:  chuck roast, potatoes, carrots & onions, oven-baked.  Great results.  The evening is spent with the boys, reading them books and giving them baths.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12, 1991

I'm up early, but not as early as JoAnna.  Eddie wakes up at 5, and she decides to stay up.  She scores big points by fixing me a pancake breakfast.  I leave the house at 7:30, which gives me enough time to review my lecture notes over a cup of espresso.  Never again -- the espresso, that is.   Session 2 goes very smoothly.  My only criticism is that I spend too much time yakkin'.  I allow only ten minutes for discussion.  They call me Mr. Information Overload.

Andy seems surprised at me earlier-than-normal arrival at daycare.  He doesn't want to leave at first.

The board meeting goes well.  The members react calmly to the news of the cash drawer pilfering  I stay late to type up the minutes.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 11, 1991

I have the morning off since Liz and I have switched evenings due to the board meeting  tomorrow.  When I'm not with Andy, I spend time at my desk continuing the seemingly endless notebook reorganization project.

During the afternoon, I meet with Chuck Foulk, a Middleton police detective.  We decided to "bait" the cash drawer with an electronic device.  After closing, Dave Kromm takes so much time setting up and testing the device, I find myself glancing at the front door every ten seconds.  Don Gibson shows up before the coast is clear.  I wonder what is going through his mind.  Just as I'm ready to leave, I hear a knock on the front door.  It's Greg, Dave's partner.  He left a photocopy of the baited dollar bills behind.  Is this the Keystone Kops or what?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Downtown Syracuse Between the Wars (Postcard)

More downtown Syracuse.

February 10, 1991

After a routine Sunday morning drinking coffee and reading the newspaper, JoAnna and I take Andy to the movies.  He spends most of the time at Home Alone sitting in Mom's lap.  The seat is a little too big even for a tall 3 year old.  Surprisingly, he is very attentive the entire time, an absolute angel, actually.  Back home, I return to my notebooks and JoAnna makes supper.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

At the Car Wash (Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa)

1940s Downtown Johnson City, Tennessee (Postcard)

February 9, 1991

Waking up early provides me with the opportunity to put a couple of good hours into my notebook reorganization project, once Eddie has been fed, that is.  I load up our newspapers in the van, stop at the library to do the same, then deliver them to the Boy Scout drop-off location at Fish Building Supply.  We all go out for breakfast at Perkins.  Unable to find an open parking space, I almost agree with JoAnna's suggestion to drive to Copper Top, but then I remember it was Andy who made the choice of restaurant earlier in the week. "Why don't you go inside and find out how long the wait will be?"   JoAnna follows through on my request, under protest, mumbling something about letting a child make a decision.

During the early afternoon, Barb cruises the mall, while Mom and Dad and the boys shop for groceries.  Once we return home and put everything away, I wash the car and Barb washes the van.  Andy helps.  It's a quiet, uneventful evening at home.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 8, 1991

Donovan Kramer and I meet at the Durrant office to discuss the outline of the workshop we'll be team-teaching next year.  Back at the library, I read the latest issues of Library Journal and Booklist and talk to police chief Larry Fass about a response to the library's theft problem.  A plan will go into effect on Monday.

JoAnna fixes chicken for supper, and I throw caution to the wind and pour myself a martini.  I'm just in the mood, I guess.  I'm looking forward to some bedtime snuggling with JoAnna, but Eddie continues to fuss until his usual time.  The first two times he falls asleep in my arms only to wake up as soon as I place him in his crib. The third time I let him sleep in my arms for nearly a half hour before transferring him.  For the third night in a row, Eddie then sleeps through the night.  Yes, indeed, "a man of substance".

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

1940s Downtown Houston (Postcard)

Waller study calls for downtown revitalization.  (Houston Tomorrow, 12/23/2009)

February 7, 1991

There's so much to cover at our Area Leaders staff meeting that little time is left for our long-range planning discussion.  I come up with a spur-of-the-moment assignment:  make a list of all the things the library should be doing (and should have) within the next five to ten years.  I started my own list a few days ago.  I think this will be a more productive approach than a focus on 8 dry roles.  Before cutting short my workday, Sheila talks to me about missing money out of the cash drawer and Sharon about the LSCA grants she is writing.

My early return home gives Barb an opportunity to enjoy a walk on another unseasonably warm afternoon.   I fix supper -- pork chops, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and cauliflower.  For the fifth night in a row, Andy's in bed before 9.