“An acknowledgment page is a terrifying thing, because you are sure to forget someone you should have remembered.“
By COLLEEN LEDDY
Elizabeth Berg made that observation 26 years ago at the start of her first novel, “Durable Goods,” but she could have been talking about me writing this column of gratitude for all those who helped make her visit to the library such a lovely affair.
All I can say is, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I’m going to forget you.
I’m sorry that I’ve done it again. Actually, I’ve once again not done it...not publicly thanked in a timely fashion, the people who so graciously made another major library event a major success.
I don’t know what happens to me. I have notes to myself that say things like: “Make a list of people to thank.”
I mean for it to be an ongoing list, one that I will add to as I go along. I think I won’t forget people like Joyce Woerner and Lois Speed who are stalwart helpers in any library affair.
And, it’s not too hard to remember that Liz Stella, Dianne Grieder, Pat Houttekier, Katherine Wollter and my mother-in-law, Jackie Green, made delicious cookies, but wasn’t there somebody else? Somebody who didn’t ask if I needed any help, somebody who just brought in cookies figuring we could use them? Was it you, Norma White?
And what connection to cookies just made me realize I could have totally missed mentioning Sharon Bruce, Sally Kruger, and Liz, who prepared carrots, cucumbers and celery for the vegetable tray? I think I started thinking about other foods that start with “C.” We seem to serve a lot of “C” foods at the library, which reminds me that Laurie Schisler made sure the cheese was beautifully cut to order.
I would have remembered another “C” word, the chairs, because I was getting kind of frantic the day before Berg’s arrival after getting e-mails from people in places like Grand Rapids and Battle Creek saying they were coming and did they have to register.
Scott Phillips and Jim Yatzek and other men from the Morenci Bible Fellowship not only let us borrow church chairs, they carried them into the library so we’d be prepared for the crowd that exceeded our seating capacity.
There’s just a wonderful cast of characters that brought it all together. Jane Brasher-Garrow and Dianne Grieder and other members of the amazing Morenci Garden Club decorated the library with potted plants and elegant vases of flowers. The Garden Club, Jane and Dianne specifically this year, also takes care of the flowers in front of the library, keeping them watered and looking great.
They pointed out the sorry state of two bushes and Rich Hoadley of R&W Nursery replaced them in time for Berg’s appearance.
Ken Fether of SimiAir worked his magic again to make the welcome banner and Barney Vanderpool and his workers had it hanging in no time. Those guys come through every time.
And our staff, Sheri Frost, Lori Drogowski and Janelle Thomas, along with Sandra Whipple who keeps things spanking clean, are just indispensable.
Our wonderful VolunTeens helped set up the library and a crew of them (Sam Majahrowski, Nate Grieder, and Liz Gautz) came in on that Saturday afternoon and restored order. I always say I don’t know how we ever managed before we had VolunTeens.
I owe my soul to Liz Stella. She is the most giving person I have ever met. Not only did she make a huge meal for Elizabeth Berg (the meal that reeled Berg in), she fed a couple dozen other people at the same time. In a discussion of gratitude, say “Liz” and everyone will know what you mean.
And, right up there with Liz, is my husband, David Green, the publisher/editor/reporter/photographer/janitor who doesn’t complain when I come to bed at 4 a.m. with cold knees, but merely rubs my back until I fall asleep. David’s coverage of library events is a big part of what makes them successful.
At gatherings of librarians around the state, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the line, “I sleep with the editor,” when people ask how we get such good coverage in the newspaper.
But Liz would tell you that even before I worked at the library, he was providing widespread coverage of library events.
Hmm, was she spending time with him, too?
I sound like both a broken record and a parrot when I evoke the words of Liz who always said we couldn’t do it without everybody’s help, that all of you make it happen. Thank you.