“Dream big, it might come true”
Newton, NC, Jan. 26, 2015:
By Tammy Wilson
Public Information Officer
Catawba County Library System
When I was 10 years old, I dreamed of being a newspaper columnist—more specifically Joan Nash on “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.” It was a new NBC sitcom about a suburban woman with a manual typewriter who hated housework and wrote for local readers. She had four rambunctious sons, an understanding husband, a tolerant maid and an Old English sheepdog that bounded down the family’s open staircase.
The series was based on a novel by Jean Kerr and a movie starring Doris Day and David Niven. It premiered 50 years ago this September, and when it did, my sixth-grade self was hooked. I dreamed of being Joan Nash, writing about stuff I liked and getting paid for it.
Forty-one years later I went to work at Catawba County Library and was asked to write a local column. The date was Sept. 5, 2006. The assignment was open-ended. I was told that I could write about library programs, books, book awards, authors, literacy, movies, genealogy and other fun stuff I like.
I said I’d give it a try. And this, dear readers, is installment 437, my last library column. By the time you read it, I’ll be heading out on a new adventure.
For almost eight and a half years I’ve written about hundreds of topics: authors, movies, technology, history and the American dream. What fun! The public library is about all these things and more.
Early in my life I also had visions of being a window dresser. I got to do some of that at the library too. One of my first exhibits included a pair of my son’s worn gym shoes, twenty five dollars and a sleeping bag to highlight author Adam Shepard. He had just written Scratch Beginnings, a memoir of self-imposed homelessness. I’d seen him give a TV interview. I thought he’d make a great speaker at the library.
My son, who’s about Adam’s age, thought I was crazy. Adam Shepard had been on The Today Show and Fox News. He had been written up in the Christian Science Monitor. There was no way he would come to Newton.
But I asked anyway. Adam came, thanks to support from the Friends of Catawba County Library.
It pays to dream big like Adam Shepard. Scratch Beginnings, a best-seller, has been a common read on 80 college campuses. He’s now a motivational speaker. His first book is still available from the library in print and eBook formats along with the DVD “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.” If you can’t find either, ask a librarian.
Which brings me to my final point. Catawba County Library employs some of the best people around, people who want to help you, who want to improve life and care about what happens in this community. It has been a privilege to work with them and with Friends of the Library, those good-hearted volunteers who love books and reading.
My years at the library have been part of my American dream. I don’t have a maid, but I do have an open staircase, a grown son, an understanding husband and three rambunctious rescue dogs. And I’m not crazy about housework. So in many ways, I have become Joan Nash.
Life isn’t always how you dream. Sometimes it’s better. Thank you for being supportive readers. It has been a fun ride.