Friday, October 13, 2017

Film Friday: A Story about Hope and the Bookmobile

by Nomad

We all have stories to tell. It's one of the best things about having an online community: the stories you share. These are stories that make us who we are and what we believe. Stories about experiences that shaped us, for better or worse.

The animation below comes from the StoryCorp archives. The mission of this non-profit storytelling organization "is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs." 
We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.
In that regard, StoryCorps follows in the great tradition of oral historian Studs Terkel and the interviews of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the 1930s. Its weekly podcast should be on your list of things to listen to.
Below is a true story which has been made into a short film.   

As a child, Storm Reyes had an extremely hard life. Her family moved often, living in Native American migrant worker camps without electricity or running water. The possibility that things would ever change for the better seemed remote.
Then, when she was twelve, an unexpected visit changed her life.

This is her story in animated form. It's called "The Bookmobile."

If you are a book lover like myself, you already know the importance of books and how reading can change lives.

My mother was a insatiable reader. She would travel to the local library and leave with a grocery bag full of books. Sometimes two! After two weeks, she would have plowed her way through each one. 
Fiction or non-fiction, she didn't play favorites. If somebody thought it was worth printing, she would at least give it a go. She told me once she would realize in the first five pages if she had already read the book before. 
I still see her, with her legs doubled up under her, sitting in her chair, puffing on a Salem, eating sunflower seeds with a book in hand. That's my quintessential image of my mother.

When I was old enough, she would take me with her to the library. But her rules of behavior made it very clear that she thought of libraries as a place of reverence as much as a place of reverence.

"No showing out or it will be the last time I take you with me! I mean it." 

That was a threat we took very seriously, even though, now, looking back, I doubt she could ever have been that cruel.

Until I was about seven, I was only allowed two books. For years, I longed for the day when I would graduate to three or five books. So it was a real coming of age thing for me.
Later, it came as a shock to learn that my friends only connected books with education and that none of them read for pleasure at all. It was like learning that their parents were getting a divorce.

Anyway, that's how my  love affair with books began and I cannot see it ever ending. I imagine that there will be a few books beside me on my deathbed. 
And I don't suppose I would want it any other way. 

Do you also have a story to tell about books?