Sunday, February 3, 2008

BAMC – Bookshelf: Follow Up

(Background for this project here)

Mary Simonsen and I delivered a box and then some of books donated by IAG writers on Friday afternoon. We had agreed to meet at the flagpole in front of Brooke Army Medical Center’s main entrance at 2 PM, and take the books up to the Patient Library, where we would turn them over to the volunteers who keep it in order.

There was zilch local media interest, I’m afraid – which might have been a good thing, because doing a formal presentation through the Public Affairs office would have meant involving approval of the Commanding Officer, and the Judge Advocate General’s office taking a stern eye at the value of the donation… in brief, a lot of bureaucratic fuss and waaaaaay out of proportion to our aim… which is – to put our books in front of a large number of readers who otherwise might not have encountered them. And to do a good deed for some young servicemen and women who richly deserve any good thing we can do for them.

And there was one more snag – my daughter hadn’t realized that the registration on her car had run out, as of the last day of December. The gate guards wouldn’t allow her to drive onto post with expired registration – presenting somewhat of a challenge, since we would barely make the 2 PM deadline for rendezvous at the flagpole. I had her drive me around to the south entrance; a shorter distance to hoof it with a heavy box of books.

I used to work at a corporation close by – and for my lunch-hour break, I would pop onto post and walk a brisk circuit around the facility – so I at least knew exactly were to go and the shortest way to get there. Nice to see that the rehab facility, which was entirely built with donations, is finished and open for service; so are the two new Fisher houses. They were still under construction when I left that particular employment.

So – puffed up the long drive to the main entrance, met Mary and her sister, and bro-in-law, infiltrated the facility and stealthily found our way up to the fifth floor. The patient library is a small office ante-room just off the main fifth-floor elevator lobby, entirely filled with bookshelves and books, a pair of chairs with a low table and a GSA-issue magazine rack. And there was no one there at all. We weren’t even that late! Nothing daunted, we tastefully arranged the books we had brought on the low table, stealthily took two pictures to prove we had been there and departed; mission accomplished.

We went back to my house for tea and scones; recipe for the scones available upon request.

Thanks to everyone who sent books: besites ourselves, donors included Frances Hunter, Tony Burton, Christy Tillery French, Jack Dixon Michael Katz Diane Salerni, Joy Collins, Donna Nordmark Aviles, Laurie Pooler Pelayo, Marva Dasef, Al Past and Melika Dannese Lux. I made an attempt to read as many of them as I could fit in, and to write and post a review at Blogger News Net. I’m only sorry I couldn’t read them all – I’m a fast reader, but not supersonic.

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