Text by David Boger
As a former librarian, I’m always excited about sharing new information and books with people. Imagine my surprise when I shared a unique source of books with people in my hometown on the Remember When In Mineral Wells… group on Facebook and found that many people in the area didn’t know about this special little place offering free books.
You see, while visiting Mineral Wells on June 9, 2018, I went to check out a Little Free Library that’s located west of downtown at the corner of Holly Hills Road and Austin Street. This library was built by another retired librarian, Melissa Morgan who said on the Little Free Library site that she had “always dreamed of my own free library” as a way to share free books with her neighbors. So she got her family involved and together they built this library which sits on the side of Morgan’s property away from whizzing traffic and their front door.
While this little library was exciting, the rest of my visit to my hometown was rather depressing.
I went to the neighborhood where I grew up. The street looked as if they hadn’t had any repairs in the more than two decades that I’ve been gone. And the house I grew up in was now nothing like when I lived there. I had seen it on several visits previously but now it has aluminum siding and lacks many of the decorative features of the house I lived in. I’m not sure I’d want to live in that part of town anymore.
I went and visited the public library where I worked for over 20 years and was disappointed to see that the parking lot didn’t appear to been repaved since I left there in 2005. And the sign in front of the building had not been maintained and looked to be deteriorating too. The main things that I saw which I considered positive about the town were that building on the main street were getting repainted and that there were businesses occupying these buildings.
It’s a very interesting adventure to revisit your hometown but, as I found when I did, you need to be prepared to see a mix of good and bad.
(This post was written for a shared blogging project that has been discontinued — but it lives on here in my Front Yard.)