Thursday, October 21, 2010
An older man, white hair, neatly clipped white mustache, wearing a powder blue pullover sweater, approached the information counter.
"Do you have any books about learning how to type?", he asked with a slight British accent. "I used to know how, but it's been a while, and now I'm back to hunt and peck."
"Let me see," I said. "I don't think we have anything in the store, but let me look up and see what might be available." I check the computer and there are a few available to order. I read him the titles, and he wants to order one.
"That would be great if you could order it," he said. "I am doing some writing and I really need to relearn how to type."
"What are you writing?", I ask.
"My memoirs. I am 91, and nobody has told the story. I was there to get Queen Wilhelmina out of the Netherlands before the Nazis invaded. I was on a train on my way to leave and they pulled me off to go get the Queen. We got her out just before the Nazis invaded. No one has told this story from the point of view of someone who has been there! I was there! And if I don't tell the story...well, there's no one left!", he said with a smile.
"It sounds like quite a story," I said.
"I was born in Cardiff, Wales. Ah, and we were poor. My father was unemployed and he'd drink on the week-ends." He shook his head. "It was rough." He paused. "I'm sorry, I live alone. I know I can talk a lot."
"Well it seems as though you've been through a lot. It sounds like a good idea to get it written down."
"Yes, well, I really need to figure out how to type again. Hunting and pecking isn't working while I try to get all this down."
"Right." I get his contact information for the order. "So we'll call you when the book comes in," I said.
"Thank you, I really appreciate it," he said.
A man, in about his 30's, unshaven, t-shirt, jeans, came up with two items to purchase. One was a hardcover bargain book, Paul of Dune, by Brian Herbert. The other was a magazine, Women's Health.
"I'm kind of embarrassed to even be buying this," he said, pointing to the cover of the magazine, which had a picture of a blond woman in a black bikini and the main headline was "The Hot Body Issue". "It's not for me," he said, "I swear it isn't. It's for my sister. She just had a baby."
"Would you like a bag?", I asked, figuring if he was embarrassed, perhaps a bag would be appropriate.
He thought about it for a moment, and smiled. "Nah. I guess I can just carry it out."
"You can use the book to hide it, if you want. Just an idea." I said.
"It's really for my sister. I'm just taking it to her."
"You don't have to explain to ME," I said, laughing. "Have a good day!"
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