I loaded up a box of books this morning. I find it very difficult to let books go. Some are old friends. Some are interesting folks I met at a charming bookstore, but we never quite connected. I worry that I should give those books a better chance before I sent them back out on the market.
I was able to put a few dozen books into a box and head to Mesquite, Texas. I drove past downtown Mesquite, where the Mesquite Opry now bears some name like the Rodeo Music Hall, perhaps in tribute to the Mesquite Rode's "international" reputation.
I arrived at Paperbacks Plus, an institution I frequented between 1985 and 1991, when I lived in old Mesquite, not far from the store. When we left to move to California in 1991, my wife turned in a large number of my books for store credit. This caused a little heartbreak, as she inadvertently gave away a first edition of something I was trying to keep. It all worked out. When we moved back in 2000, my little index card showing my store credit was still in the little box they maintain.
This bookstore has the vibe I love in a bookstore. The building holds a huge collection of books, most of which are reasonably priced. There is a vague feel of the counterculture, less a hippie insouciance than a memory of 1972. By this I do not mean a hint of "Space Oddity", or of Al Green's "Let's Stick Together". I mean more like a hint of Country Joe McDonald's "Incredible! Live!", admixed, perhaps, with a mild tincture of the mildest hint of a rather Texan take on Fleetwood Mac's "Bare Trees". The staff is always helpful, low-key and given to putting leaving posters for long-past readings by poets and performers on the sides of the shelves.
While the staff analyzed my books, I analyzed the shelves. I wanted to get a pre-1923 guitar or mandolin book,because sometimes old sheet music shows up in Texas stores, and I have a friend who makes public domain guitar recordings. All the pre-1923 was classical piano, though. I did find a book on birding by a fellow who leads birding trips to Descanso Gardens. As Descanso Gardens was our favorite public garden in southern California, I got that. I also got Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings "Cross Creek" in an attractive paperback.
My store credit from this trip and an earlier trip last year totalled over 140 dollars, so that I will be able to pay half-price for paperbacks there for generations to come. By then we'll all remember Mumford and Sons in the way we now remember Crosby,Stills, Nash and Young.
I proceeded to the Trinity River Audubon Center, which is about 10 miles south of downtown Dallas, but barely a hop and a skip down I-20 from Mesquite. This Audubon Center is really cool--energy efficient, amazing architecture, great staff, but mostly, lots of birding trails.
I saw the following: yellow-rumped warbler, eastern phoebe, song sparrow, cardinal, two sulphur butterlies, ringed-neck duck, pied-billed grebe, American crow, and American coot.
My camera focused on these berries and their attending cardinal, who appears to dread the reformation in his anticipation for indulgence:
I loved the way that Southwest Airlines planes kept flying over, colorfully making their way to Love Field on Dallas.
The sparrows were everywhere, flitting into small bare trees.
The solar panels were cool:
I read that the whole site used to be a huge illegal toxic waste dump. Now it's fun!
I ate lunch at the Mediterranean Cafe, a great middle eastern buffet. I began the Rawlings book, which instantly reminded me of an LJ friend or two. My wife and I took a power walk in our neighborhood. My wife is at something like a tupperware party tonight, except that the tuppers they ware are all lotions to wear.
The weather forecast predicts snow tomorrow. We'll see!
Today is the Beaversary, too. I threw Bea's toy a lot. Her current favorite toy, by the way, is a small stuffed schnauzer. We adopted Beatrice, our little black dog, five years ago today. She's been a great dog. She must be around 11 now, but she's active as a puppy. We doubt we will ever get a puppy again--shelter dogs forever.