Friday, May 11, 2012


Okay, I admit I'm feeling a bit of withdrawal symptoms (I miss my Frasier reruns to decompress), but so far I haven't caved in. When I'm home, I turn up the radio and fill the living room with KUSC's lovely classical sounds.

Not to be extremely heartless, I encourage Mom to enjoy her "Bonanza" reruns when she's got her bedroom TV on. BUT, I pitched the idea of her reading more, and she was quite receptive.

So, on my way home this noontime for lunch, I stopped in at the Burbank Public Library (the Central branch is almost within shouting distance), and picked up several biographies and a crime novel to start Mom off. When we moved here in 1964, we (Mom, my grandmother, and I)were at the library no less than once a week. At that time, Mom and Grandmother were regular readers of the Ellery Queen detective novels, and evenings after dinner found us all in the living room, each reading her book, with the radio on in the background. Interestingly, the TV was there, but did not take center stage in our lives.

It wasn't until some family tensions and splits emerged in the years that followed, and the TV was kept on much of the time, perhaps to fill the uncomfortable voids in communication.

There were actually a few years, as a young single woman, that I consciously did without a TV. I'd just broken up with my first fiance, and moved into a peaceful studio apartment in Silverlake. Reveling in my newly-found calm life, I rambled around town on my days off, and when I was home, I was content to listen to KNX-FM (remember that station?) while I did my exercises or chores.

When my coworkers found out, however, that I was sans television, they plied me with many questions, including, Was it "some religious thing?" Was I offended by the shows that were on? Was there no room for a TV?

I even had a somber coworker discretely motion me into the file room. Putting her arm around me, she quietly and delicately said, "If it's the money, I could loan you some to get a TV."

NO! It wasn't the money. If I'd wanted a set, I would have and could have gotten one. Geez, one would have thought I'd confessed to not having enough to cover my rent or buy groceries.

Back to present day, and especially my visit to the local library. I had a great time browsing...and smelling musty books. The Central branch has a lot going on this summer, and, piggybacking on my recent forays into, I signed up to be part of the library's Summer Reading Program for Grownups. Check out:

My selection when it comes up on the hold queue: Michael Gelb's How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci.

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