Enough with the words and promises - laugh a little

  • Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:41 p.m.

By John Tucker
Rowan Public Library
As musical carols are to the holidays, debates and promises are to an election year. Like it or not, listeners are always treated to an earful. The difference is we look forward to one, and hope that we will survive the other. Have your ears taken in more statements and stalemates than can be digested in a single sitting? If so, don't give up on the words flying around - change the mode of communication to a book rich in wisdom, supported by smiles and a belly laugh or two. Might I suggest a trip to the library where a humorous look at life awaits?
First to catch my eye was the book titled "Cosbyology" by Bill Cosby, a collection of laugh-out-loud stories that embrace family life, work, school and sports. "Cosby" - the comic son of William and Anna who was born in 1937; "ology" - study of ... how does one study the life of a comic? We laugh our way through his ordeals and "first" situations of life experiences. I found my smiles turned to chuckles, then to laughter that had to be shared with others. It is quite the collection of essays and observations from the "Doctor of Comedy."
Second, the book titled "Cotton Mill Boys: and other characters I've known" by Richard Thorpe, is a memoir of life in a mill village from the 1940s and 1950s. These recollections of childhood will give new meaning to life on a road called Railroad Street and chicken dinners from scratch before B.C. (meaning before Colonel Sanders). Can you remember the joy of the two o'clock whistle? How about learning that your house key not only unlocked your home, but every other house at the mill? If you can't remember when, this book can help you recall a simpler time.
A favorite collection of wit and wisdom is titled "Look Who's Laughing" compiled by Ann Spangler and Shari MacDonald. These short stories record the humor in everyday relationships. No bond is too sacred for these jovial jaunts. You will snicker at the tale of a preacher visiting a church member and helping himself to the bowl of peanuts on the coffee table. By the end of their visit, the parson confessed that he had eaten all of the peanuts in the bowl. "Oh that's alright. Ever since I lost my teeth, all I could do was suck the chocolate off of them." I thought that would get to you. Please check out the rest of the tales in this rib-tickling text.
On a more serious note, peruse the famous "Poor Richard's Almanack" written by Benjamin Franklin. These words and phrases record some of the best advice you might recall from your childhood. Phrases like: "No gain without ... ," or "A true friend is the best ... ." "A penny saved is a ... ." "Blessed is he that expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed." "The doors of wisdom are never shut" so catch up on your reading with Ben's gem of a classic.
In the library collection of short stories and witty essays one text looked out of place, until I opened the first page. "Dancing the Dream" by Michael Jackson is a collection of photos, which we might expect, and they are wrapped in words, prose and poetry that radiate creativity. Jackson's observations and reflections help us see that trust, love and faith in others and ourselves is the foundation of a life well lived.
Words are truly a part of our daily lives, and these are but a few of the joyous resources that weave together smiles, dreams and visions to take us from our daily grind into a relationship with joyful words. Come to the library and encounter words of joy found faithfully unchanged in a book.
Children's Storytime: Weekly Storytime is through Nov. 29. For more information, call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters - Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18- to 35-month-olds; Wednesdays, 11 a.m., Baby Time (6- to 23-month-olds); Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds); 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4- to 8-year-olds).
South - Mondays, 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4- to 8-year-olds); Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Baby Time (6-23 months); 1:30 p.m., Preschool Time (3-5 years); Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18-35 months).
East - Mondays, 9:30 a.m., Baby Time (6-23 months); Mondays, 11 a.m., Toddler Time (18-35 months); Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3-5 years).
Book Chats for Children: South only. Nov. 1, 4:15 p.m., "Lost and Found" by Andrew Clements (grades 4-5). Children in grades 2-5 are invited to participate in Book Chats at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove. Registration is required and space is limited. Please call 704-216-7728 for more information.
Teen Murder Mystery Night: All 5:30-7 p.m. East, Monday; headquarters, Tuesday. Is it Miss Dara in the kitchen with the rope or Miss Erika in the library with the lead pipe? Help us solve the mystery. For more information call 704-216-8234.
Book Bites Club: South only. Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., "Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah. Book discussion groups for both adults and children will meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information call 704-216-8229.
Displays for October: Headquarters, Family Crisis/Domestic Violence Awareness; South, student art by Carson High School; East, art by Coleen Walton.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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