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Vol. XIII, no. 1

TCU Library Newsletter, Web Edition

April 2001


Through the Transom
by Bill Farrington

 Five years ago I climbed down from my chair here in the hall, gave one last longing look at the transom and left MCBL, figuratively, for good.  I am back from time to time between trips and babysitting stints with great grand nephews and reading a hundred books and finally pasting a lifetime collection of “stuff” into scrapbooks.  It was all very satisfying.

One day, however, I realized that it was getting a little monotonous.  Fortunately that was the day I attended the grand opening of Starbucks in the lobby.  That alone was enough to open my eyes to the changes in the world.  I never saw anything like that through the transom.

As fate would have it I ran into Joyce Roach, an old friend and partner in crime on the local lecture circuit.  (We wowed them in North Fort Worth more than once).  She mentioned that she was processing the Mabel Majors Papers in Special Collections and then the alarm rang in my head and I found myself begging, like Tom Sawyer’s friends, to let me help.  She graciously waited a full three seconds before accepting my offer.

So, one bright winter afternoon I presented myself in Special Collections.  Joyce had not arrived so I chatted with Glenda Stevens and casually mentioned that I had more time if she needed someone to…I never finished the sentence.

So now I spend Tuesday afternoons romping through academia with Joyce and Thursdays doing the same in the Jim Wright Archives with Glenda.  (Note: don’t ever become a congressman – you wouldn’t believe how much mail they receive).

Archivist is just about the only job I haven’t done in a library.  (I was even a janitor once in the law library at UT Austin).  So, the old dog is learning, slowly, a bag of new tricks.  I’ve conquered the mouse (frequently) and learned to surf the Library of Congress database.  I still don’t know what I’m doing a lot of the time but no one is complaining.

I now know how Dolly Levy felt when all those waiters started singing at her.  And it is so good to be back where I belong.  I no longer have time to stand and gaze through he transom (Joyce and Glenda share a strong work ethic) but occasionally I can glance over the balcony in Special Collections and the view is even better. 

 Unlike old soldiers librarians sometimes do die, but they never seem to fade away. 

 When I wrote my valedictory column five years ago I ended by saying “MCBL, I love you.”  I still do.


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