Old Shoes In The Library By Jesse Turner
By Jesse Turner
My library memories are not of books, but of his smells, and his old worn leather shoes. The library belonged to the old men who were push out of their wives’ way at home. The place for international debates among men from every corner of Europe in between the Liberian’s shushes. The spot where Jews, Christians, the silent Muslims plus one or two atheists, read the newspapers in Spanish, English, Hebrew, French, and Arabic. The Library was bigger than English only back then.
Their smells were beautiful old wool and worn out cottons with strong tobacco remnants. Yellow old teeth that spoke gentle wisdoms’ in idioms lost deep in my heart. I remember Old Solid Walnut tables with heavy oak chairs surrounded by real plaster walls. The giant windows lighting every corner. From the viewpoint of a childhood, I am near the feet of my grandfather’s old brown leather shoes. Listening under the table to the awe-inspiring talk of old men as they accomplish daily what the United Nations can only dream these days.
The smell was not fresh, but old. Even 52 years later that old leaves me refreshed and invigorated. I can smell the coffee, the tobacco, and those old wools filling my dreams. Not one high school graduate among them, but each a scholarly reader wise beyond any university’s towers.
Their collected experience had lived through a dozen wars, depressions, numerous deaths and births. Their bones were tired, but they walked miles each day with dogs picking up their grandchildren from schools while parents worked their lives away. As they debated world politics, human rights, and the hopes of labor, we their grandchildren did our homework at their feet. Saying grandfathers this question is too hard. What does this mean? How are we going to answer this one? They relished every school question sent home with us. They would stopped the whole world for the wonder and awe of our homework questions. Understanding that these were the questions denied them in their childhood.
I miss those old shoes in the library of my heart
I missed his hand walking home, from our place of hope, love, and dreams,
I miss his smell,
I miss his deep wide sparking blue eyes,
I miss his gratifying voice,
I miss his very presence,
I miss walking up those marble stairs,
I miss him saying these stairs were made for princes and scholars Little Jess,
I would give the world for one more moment at his feet in our old library
His library memory holds my heart
My heart holds fast to that old man, and his smells and shoes
Locked away forever beautiful and safe, I wait to be near his feet under the table in heaven’s library.
Libraries keep nation’s healthy and strong,
Jesse The Walking Turner
If you want to hear the song that carried me on my morning walk today in the rain?…its Dougie MacLean singing Auld Lang Syne.
About Jesse Turner’s blog, Children are More than Test Scores
Children are More than Test Scores welcomes readers who believe that No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top, and Every Student Succeeds Act are misguided educational reform policies that rely too heavily on standardized test scores that are too focused on punitive measures against local schools. It’s also the diary of Jesse Turner’s 2010/15 walks to Washington DC from Connecticut, and his occupation of the DOE in DC with United Opt Out, and his opposition to public school choice policies without equity. Follow Jess Turner @readdoctor.