The Retirees' Newsletter
The Faculty and Librarian Retirees' Association, University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada
Issue # 21 -- February, 1997
By Joan Hackett
HE -- a vigorous husky young man, an exuberant spirit, shouts a lusty "Hi, how are ya!" to each passerby as he charges down the street to confront the day. SHE -- a wraith with long blonde hair hanging down her back, a shadow always a step or two behind clinging to his sleeve.
HE and SHE climb into his car, a sway backed station wagon -- age and make unknown. It's a wonderful patchwork of white, black, green and rust overflowing with lawn care equipment. He guns the motor. Away they go: his elbow out the window at a jaunty angle, her hair flowing in the breeze.
HE's in the lawn service business. This hot July afternoon he plows back and forth cutting grass, his body thrust forward, determined to conquer every blade in his path. SHE scurries along in his wake occasionally she picks up a leaf and deposits it in the trash.
The mower stops. Needs fuel. SHE hovers. HE gasses up, pulls rope to restart machine, it
coughs and dies-- pulls repeatedly harder and harder. Nothing! Fiddles with choke--yanks rope
again--engine vibrates, backfires AND . . . . . . . . . .quits. Tugs on rope with all his might AND. .
. . . . . . . . . it starts! He finishes the job, stands back to admire his handiwork. She retrieves a
twig, tosses it away, dusts her hands -- she's through for the day. He loads the car, they head for
home, the MAN and his LADY.
Joan Hackett taught Theatre History in the School of Dramatic Art, which probably explains the
acute perception so evident in her short articles. She travels a lot, her favourite destination being
The Big Apple. England, she says, is next stop on her list.
By Eugene McNamara
MY BOOK COLLECTING DIDN'T START WITH RETIREMENT. It began when I was a boy. I became notorious in my neighborhood as the kid who would trade his perfectly good comic books for Big Little Books -- because I had discovered that they were books, complete with hard cover and a spine.
SO IT'S BEEN A LIFETIME OBSESSION. I cannot pass a used-book store, church sale or garage sale without a look. Now I have about sixty copies of Omar Khayyam's Rubáiyát, lots of Walden and Leaves of Grass. And some interesting editions of Moby-Dick.
Just recently I tracked down the 1925 photoplay edition with pictures of John Barrymore in the silent film version of Moby-Dick. By the way I have the Classic Comic edition as well as the colouring book --(how do you colour a whale white?).
I AM STILL LOOKING FOR THE BIG LITTLE BOOK EDITION. I know it is out there
someplace. I will trade a comic book for it.
Eugene McNamara taught American Literature and Creative Writing. His most recent
publication is Fox Trot: Short Stories, 1994. He will be speaking on Book Collecting, at the
Riverside Library, Thursday, Feb. 27th, at 6.30 p.m.
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