Today is National School Librarian Day and I am celebrating by paying tribute to Bobbi Nation (top center), who was the librarian at Thruston when I was in elementary school.  Ms. Nation made books seem like magic! And, recently, I visited the school library at Newton Parrish and was flooded with memories of books that Ms. Nation introduced us to at Thruston.  And, because of her, these books are still full of wonder!

I know my Thruston peeps are going to remember that book!!  The Boxcar Children??  I LOVED that book and I'm pretty sure just about everyone in our class was ready to become orphans and go live in a boxcar like those kids.  I remember, vividly, sitting on the floor of the Thruston library as Ms. Nation read each page to us!  It was absolute magic.  She brought those words, that book, to vivid life.

And what about these??

Hardy Boys mysteries!!  Seriously?  Are you kidding me?  LOVED those books when I was a kid because I'm pretty sure that I spent the formative part of my childhood believing that I was Shaun Cassidy.  I know a bunch of my friends loved reading The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books.  They were flippin' awesome.

And speaking of brainiacs and sleuths, remember these?

I think we all realized Encyclopedia Brown was a little bit of a nerd, but he was still a rock star and I think we all secretly wished we were that smart.  I spent a couple of years at Thruston believing I could be a child detective.  It was very CSI: Ensor.

But of all the books I saw on the shelves at Newton Parrish, none brought back memories quite like this one . . .

Oh, my Lord.  Just shoot me now!  Oops.  Maybe that's the wrong choice of words.  But, come on!  Why didn't anyone tell me how this book ended before I picked the thing up and started to read it?  Ms. Nation should have put a warning label on it.  It's no wonder I cry in Benji movies and every time I see that ad for the Humane Society.  I blame this book for me being a complete basket case when it comes to animals.  Damn you, Old Yeller!

Oh, but speaking of animals in peril, did you ever read any of these?

Photo by Patty Moore

Jack London books?  How cruel were those?  You're just happily reading along about how some poor schmock is lost in a snowstorm with his trusty dog and then, all of a sudden, he starts getting cold and hungry and realizes he could eat the dog and then use its skin as a fur.  You're an evil man, Jack London.  Evil, I say!

I had a blast visiting the Newton Parrish Elementary school library and it brought back a flood of memories about our library at Thruston.  And no book reminded me of Bobbi Nation more than this one.  Thruston, remember this?  I can literally recall Ms. Nation pulling it off the shelf to introduce us to it.

Photo from OpenLibrary.org

I think every single wannabe boxcar kid at Thruston was convinced that, if we really did become orphans and live in a train, that we could make plenty of money if we had a geiger counter like Miss Pickerell!!

But more important to my childhood than Miss Pickerell was Ms. Bobbi Nation.  The Thurston library is gone.  Heck, the whole school is gone.  But I visit often . . . in my mind.  And I am there in the library, flipping through the pages of the books, my mind being opened to a world of wonder.

Thank you, Ms. Nation.  You made this world possible for all of us.  You opened our minds by simply opening a book.  And we're forever indebted to you.