Friday started out a little dicey in that I was almost to Lebanon in Boone County when I realized I had forgotten my camera! Fortunately everything takes pictures these days–cell phones, the new ipod nanos–and I had my cell phone with me, of course. (Didn’t have the ipod; I was using old fashioned CDs in the CD player…) So I used the cell. My photo skills aren’t as good with the phone–some of you will snort and say you didn’t know I had any photographic skills at all–but you do the best with the tools you have.
My first stop of the day was the Lebanon Public Library. I was delighted when I looked through their mystery shelves and discovered they had both of my first two novels. (In full disclosure, I had done a signing there, but it was some time ago…) After that I approached Sandra at the adult services desk. I discovered that the person I needed to see wasn’t there. But like so many other helpful librarians, she was gracious as I talked about my books, the 30-day adventure, and what was in it for their library. She accepted the envelope (see below for a photo of Mary and also the Lebanon Public Library) and said she would get it to their director.
With Boone County checked off, I drove up S.R. 39 to Clinton County where I stopped at the Frankfort Community Public Library. I guess I was feeling good about finding my books at Lebanon, so I wandered into their mystery stacks and discovered they had Angels Whisper, but not Second Advent...maybe it was checked out
Anyway, after talking to one of their staff members, she directed me to Tom, their assistant director. I introduced myself as an author, mentioned that they had one of my books in their collection, and told him why I was there. Although Tom hadn’t received my earlier letter, he allowed me to have a few moments of his time, which I appreciated. He also allowed me to take a photo of him holding the contest materials. Tom mentioned their brown bag author program as something they’d like to have me back for, so I hope that I’ll be returning to Frankfort again within the next several months.
Don’t you just love how stately their library looks? I understand it also houses a theater and a coffee shop, but I didn’t feel like I should take the time to explore it since I had many more counties I wanted to cover that day. Although I had resolved to breathe deeply and enjoy my adventure more, I still felt I should keep an eye on the time.
Driving from Frankfort to Delphi (in Carroll County), I couldn’t help but be struck again by how big Indiana is, and how many farms there are. In Hendricks County, we have some farmland on the eastside, but the area is really more suburban and becoming more congested all the time. When Debbie and I moved out to Hendricks County in the 1980s, there was farmland to the south of our home and we used to sit on the porch and watch the farmer work his crops. Now that land has become a big subdivision. You have to go to the western part of the Hendricks County to see lots of farming–in Clinton and Carroll counties, farmland is about all you see.
I reached the Delphi Library in Carroll County and found I had to park on the street. Fortunately I was able to snag a spot not too far from the entrance. Here’s a photo of me just before I went in.
Don’t I look awake by now? I went into the library and up the stairs. They didn’t have any of my books … and I decided I needed to get over myself and stop checking. Anyway I met Patsy in adult services, and she took the materials and said she’d give them to her director. Here’s Patsy with the envelope.
After that I got back on U.S. 421 and took it up to Monticello, which is over the border from Carroll. (It’s just inside White County, but it counts!). Monticello is on Lake Shaffer, and once I got into town I decided it had a definite lakeside/resort feel to it. Very different from what I had been seeing that day. It took me a little while to get oriented and locate Broadway Street (maybe should have used mapquest…), but once I did I found the library easily. Inside, I met Monica, the manager of adult services, who was intrigued to find out why an author from the Indianapolis area was there. She listened to my tale and took the envelope, promising to give it to Rachel, the library director, who Monica tells me came to Monticello from Plainfield, my home library. Here’s Monica and the Monticello Library.
Sorry about the photo of the library. The sun was in the wrong position, and with only my cell phone to take the photo, I couldn’t do much about making adjustments.
From Monticello I drove into Cass County and over to Logansport on U.S. 24. The library was not difficult to find, and I went in and met Mary, who said she’d get the envelope to Scott, who she believed had likely received my advance letter, but wasn’t there that day. Mary was kind to me and listened patiently while I told her my story. Here she is, along with the Logansport Public Library.
There was probably a way to get to through Logansport and catch U.S. 24 on the eastside of the city, but I didn’t see it easily, so I backed out to the westside where I knew how to find U.S. 24. I went east again to the Peru exit and then located their library. There I spoke to three different people, the last one being Terri. Once Terri learned I was an author, I think she was hopeful that maybe someone had walked into their library who could take over the new writers group they were starting :). So she was disappointed to learn that I was from Indianapolis. But we had a great conversation about writers and writing, and I may be going back sometime to do a program. Although Terri was willing to take care of the contest envelope, she wasn’t willing to have her picture taken, so she sent me to their designated model, Susie. Here’s the Peru Library and Susie with my envelope.
I got turned around in Peru and had to ask directions to get back to U.S. 24. I was looking for a Wendy’s because that’s what I really wanted for lunch, and it was already after 1:00. But there wasn’t one on the way out and I ended up getting really hungry on the way to Wabash. The first thing I did when I reached Wabash was to turn on S. R. 15 toward the city and stop at the local Wendy’s. After wolfing down some food, I spoke to the helpful employee in the lobby, who gave me directions to the library. On the way there I even survived a trip over some railroad tracks without getting stopped. I used street parking, got out of the van, and stood on the steps to take a photo of the library with my cell phone. A man in a blue blazer and a tie watched me do this and asked if he could help me. At first I said no, but when he asked a second time I decided he must be some kind of official and asked if he was connected with the library. He turned out to be the library director, Ware. What luck! Although he didn’t remember receiving my advance letter, he did listen to me explain about the adventure and the contest, and he let me take his photo with the envelope. The thing I remember most about our conversation was when he questioned why I was undertaking this trip, I said, “If your name isn’t Dan Brown, you have to do something to get librarians to know you.” (I liked that impromptu line, and decided I should use it again later.) Here’s the Wabash Library and its director, Ware:
Sorry if Ware looks a little fuzzy. My cell phone must’ve had focusing problems.
Anyway, it was back out to U.S. 24, then south on U.S. 31 and into Kokomo. This was probably the most difficult of my stops because I had the address for the downtown library which I didn’t know was under construction. Although there was a sign posted for the new temporary location, I wasn’t familiar with Kokomo and couldn’t find it on the map I had. (Maybe I need to break down and get that GPS unit.) Anyway, I tried asking several people, including a used bookstore owner, but no one was certain where it was. Finally I stopped at a Marsh, and an employee was able to set me straight. I drove to the library, found the adult services area, and discovered that neither of the two best people for me to see was there. One was on vacation and the other was located at a totally different location, one back near the original library. Fortunately the very nice librarian gave me Tammy’s phone number, and Tammy was gracious about seeing me. She gave me directions to her location. When I got there, she smiled as I went through the reason I was there, and I think was even amused by my new Dan Brown line. She said she would tell the staff about me and the contest, and get the materials to the right person. Thank you, Tammy!
Here’s a photo of the library’s temporary location. Sorry, no picture of Tammy. I was so frazzled I forgot to ask her!
Those of you who have been to Kokomo know how long it takes to get out of the city. So, when I finally got down to Indy and reached the westside of I-465 and ran into a traffic jam, you can imagine how frustrated I was. I managed to get off on Crawfordsville Road, back near my old stomping grounds in Speedway, and I took the back roads to Plainfield. It was another exhausting day, but having covered Boone, Clinton, Carroll, White, Cass, Miami, Wabash, and Howard counties, I was now 8 counties closer to my goal.
New total: 32 counties down, 60 to go; 40 libraries down, 61 to go.