The Friends Bookstore saw a lot of activity this past holiday season, thanks to holiday shoppers and to patrons bringing books to keep our shelves well stocked. And therein lie several heartwarming tales.
Bookstore volunteer Ethel Margolin really connected with some of our regular patrons. See the full story in Ethel's article below.
Among patrons acquiring stocking-stuffers, Harriet Strauss caught sight of a rather remarkable shopper. In early December, 12-year-old Jeffrey Rudolph came in with his mom, Marilyn, to do his annual community service. “Jeffrey takes all the large paperback books we have,” Harriet reports, “this time over 40 books, and he pays for them with his own money. He then distributes the books to patients at eight West and North Valley hospitals.”
All our volunteers love to hear about the travels of your, the community's, donated books. If you have any stories about who is purchasing them and where they are going, please let us know. We're also fascinated by the interaction between Bookstore volunteers and patrons. It's the spice that enlivens a worthwhile task. Please share your experiences so all Friends members can savor them. E-mail us or drop a note in the suggestion box.
Bookstore Volunteer Co-Coordinators
Unlike the author who wrote about people he will meet in heaven, I want to write about the people I meet in my little slice of heaven right here in the Friends Bookstore.
Michael Barlow, his wife, Rowena, and their children, Nathaniel (11) and Hannah (6), frequently drop in on Thursday afternoons when I'm minding the store. Michael is studying for the ministry and, with Rowena, once led a mission to Turkey. This past holiday season, we got to talking about religious traditions, and I invited the whole family to join me for the first night of the 8-day Chanukah celebration—along with Eddy Rostamni, a single father of three who often brings Shannon (11), Jasmin (9), and A Jay (6) into the Bookstore.
A Jay with Ethel, sharing tradition
When they had all arrived at my home, I began the festivities by reading the story of the Miracle of the Lights, which recalls the Macabee's retaking Jerusalem and rededicating the temple with a lamp that burned for 8 days on oil barely sufficient for one. It's a good story, and I had a very captivated audience. Then we lit the shamash (sexton) candle and used it to light the first night's candle, which is placed in a menorah—a candelabrum with spaces for eight candles, plus one for the shamash candle. Traditionally, each succeeding night another candle is added until the eight days have passed, but since we had five children and only one night, I brought out both of my menorahs so that each child could be shamash. (Don't do the math. It won't work. It's the principle of everyone lighting candles that counts.)
After the ceremony, we all exchanged gifts and feasted. The traditional fare for this holiday is latkes (potato pancakes) with sour cream and applesauce. It was an hour in which the children would be hungry, however, so to everyone's delight, I started off with vegetarian chili—then whipped up a batch of latkes. Of course, ice cream, cookies, and cake followed.
The evening culminated with a game of dreidel, which is played by spinning a top with four flat sides. A Hebrew letter on each side determines what happens when the top stops spinning. Depending upon which letter it falls on, you take the entire pot, some of the pot, return all you have, or just pass. Our players used walnuts, almonds, and peanuts for making bets, and since I'd already taught Nathaniel the game, I put him in charge. You could hear the shrieks of laughter as all the youngsters learned and then played for a long time.
Then it was time for my lovely guests to depart. A wonderful time was held for all of us!
Stay tuned. There are more stories from my little slice of heaven and the people I've met.
Ethel B. Margolin, Bookstore Volunteer
To volunteer as a tutor, you have to
1) be able to make a 6-month commitment to tutor 2-3 hours a week,
2) make an appointment to be interviewed by an area coordinator, and
3) complete a Tutor Training course.
There is now a Literacy Center in Platt Branch, with a training session scheduled for May 19. To make an appointment, call Susan Casmier, Literacy Center Coordinator, at
Our GAB program needs a few more voices to read to children 2 hours a week (or every other week). Contact Children's Librarian
Platt Branch Volunteers—2006
Our sincere and deep appreciation to the wonderful
The Friends of Platt Library Board Lynn Light, Senior Librarian, and Staff
The Friends of the Platt Library Newsletter is produced and maintained by Hearn/Perrell Art Associates. Editor: Therese Hearn
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