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Marilyn Sands

Marilyn Sands
Location
los angeles, California,
Birthday
July 03
Bio
Marilyn Sands is a Former 80's Stand-up Comic, her Essays can be found on salon.com & her unsold Screenplays in her Top Drawer...next to the hard liquor! "Author of 2 Works of Fiction....my Diary & my Resume"! ha ha All my Articles are Copyrighted & yes, I'll know!

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JULY 25, 2011 2:47PM

"READING BETWEEN THE LINES"...The Evolution of Books!

Rate: 2 Flag

With the demise of "Border's Books" & advent of The Kindle - it brought back memories of home & the inevitable evolution of books.

     My father's job when I was born was A Travelin' Man for "Fiction Lovers Library".  This business was putting new Fiction books for rent into Drug Stores & the like - up & down the east coast. 

     His big brother Uncle Joe, owned the business & hired 3 other brothers to work for him, as well as other employees.  My father's job was traveling to these spots regularly & manually keeping bookkeeping records & collecting money from those stores that rented out those books.  Old School.

     My father, the 9th of 10 children; all born poor in Ozone Park, Queens, New York & is where my father's personality was formed at age 9 by his early bout with Scarlet Fever; leaving him with a complete loss of hearing.

     An extremely quiet man; with good grades - he had to drop out of Columbia University because he couldn't hear the Lectures; disappointing his father who had visions of him being a doctor - but instead floundered & took refuge in reading.

     When he got his first real job for his brother in the "Book Business" during these hard times in the 1930's & 40's; he didn't have to go far for his fix.

     When the business went bust with the advent of "Pocket Books"; my father lost his living & felt a failure with a weary wife & 3 children to feed.  Without knowing one thing about this profession - he opened a small Grocery Store in Maryland; rising at 5 am to get fresh fruit, vegetables & meat.  He learned to be a Butcher, gutting chickens for the first time - ending his long day falling into bed for the next day & his reading days were over.

     Due to the emergence of the big Grocery Chains; after 14 months, my father gave up his store; leaving the IOU's giving customers credit; still unpaid in the drawer.  And the Photos don't lie - he aged 10 years during that time.

     A "Willy Loman" figure - years later, when he again had time for books; he used them like everyone else does - for comfort, distraction, escape & avoidance.

     But there's one thing I always wished he would've done for me; share his thoughts on what he had just finished reading:

Did he like it or not?   Was he moved by it?  Had he ever wanted to be that character?  What did he learn from it?      Or even just suggesting I should read it!      

     In his own silent world; looking back - he didn't share that with anyone.  When I think of him; I think of him sitting in his Easy Chair reading - far away; yet so near.

     Years after his death; I wandered in an old dusty Book Store & spotted a book with the Opening Page stamped "Fiction Lovers Library" & clutched it to my chest.  It took away my father when he travelled for the family & kept us fed & now is a cherished book I'll always keep close.  The name of the Book?  It doesn't matter, does it?

    Like Henry Fonda's "Tom Joad's" haunting lament from the book & then Movie "Grapes of Wrath":

"Wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there...."

     Well, I know I'll do the same - "Wherever words are written - I'll be there"!  Yes, whether its a real Book or a Kindle - I'll be there.  

john-steinbeck-the-grapes-of-wrath 

 

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Comments

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Great piece Marilyn. I really enjoyed this! Books are about what's inside them, not the means of conveyance.
lovely reminiscence...thanks for sharing it...rated
Thank you so much Mark. It was there waiting to be written.
Mr. C. Thanks so much for your appreciation. He was a man of few words - but you listened when he talked. I think that's the trick.