Hang ‘Em High.

Back in my younger days, when I was full of ideas and energy, I made the suggestion that we should do a day of miniature golf in the library.  After six months of hard work, in which I have aged ten years and grown to despise myself for ever having been full of energy and ideas, I had a mini-golf event last Saturday (actually, it was last Saturday when I originally wrote this, before my blog crapped out; now it’s two Saturdays ago, on April 6) and it was a huge success. I raised over $15,000 and the kids went crazy for the golf course.

Fidelity was our Title Sponsor for the Bryant Library’s Mini Golf Event. I went to Fidelity myself, the day before the event, to collect their boxes of give-aways (Titleist golf balls, water thingies, and lip balm in those cute green balls) and I am such a stickler for detail that when I saw that their table cloth was bunched up in a ball and was all wrinkled and icky, I put it in my washing machine and then I IRONED it.

Believe me, I did not enjoy that.

The Bryant Library was also very lucky to have Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes as one of our Hole Sponsors. . .

. . . and they gave away stuffed bears and cool stamps and little sketch books.

We also had Douglas Elliman Realtors on board:

And the adult living community called Atria on Roslyn Harbor was another of of our outstanding corporate sponsors:

For those of you who are having a hard time picturing mini golf in a library, here’s a shot of the 10th hole:

This tube actually went down TWO flights of stairs (the stairs go down into the basement to the children’s library) and when the golfers saw this, they lost their minds.

This is my favorite hole, with the giraffes as the hazard:

We used all three floors of the library, starting at the top floor, in the large meeting room where kids could take a few practice swings before hitting the course:

Here are more shots of the course:

And, lastly, our youngest golfer, at 21 months:

He doesn’t look thrilled in this pic, but I watched this kid. At 21 months, he had exceptional concentration and he played all 18 holes! He was, as we used to say in the 1970s : into it.

Getting back to the present day, April 18th-ish, this is what I had planned to show you last week, before there was a problem with my Gateway and I had to punt with Taffy. It’s good to be back with my Dear Readers!

Last week I was also going to tell you about a dream I had the day after the mini golf event and, I know I know, dreams are boring, but humor me please.

I dreamt that I was in a crowd of people. It wasn’t a party, because I didn’t feel any anxiety about having to mingle; it wasn’t a waiting room, because I was not about to explode with impatience. It was just a crowd, and it was somewhat pleasant to be amongst people.

A man appears, and takes me by the arm. Two or three other figures join him as they isolate me away from the crowd. The first man pulls out a gun and points it at my head.

“But I thought you were friends!” I say, more in confusion than in fear.

The man pulls the trigger and I turn my head so I can see bits of my brain and blood splatter in the air as the bullet hits my skull.

Then I wake up and I mediately understand the dream.

It wasn’t a nightmare. I did not experience any panic or terror. This was a very kind, and insightful, dream, a dream that explained my vaguely negative feelings about working so hard on the mini golf event and why I did not take any pleasure or sense of accomplishment from its success. This dream explains an intuition I had, just below the level of consciousness. . . that the organization who benefited from my efforts, The Friends of Bryant Library, are the kind of people who would shoot me in the head. Or maybe I should shoot myself in the head before I ever think of doing something like this again.

After attending board meetings for over a year and after working so hard to raise a shit load of money for The Friends of Bryant Library, I have come to really dislike The Friends of Bryant Library, each and every one of them, some more than others; oh yes, much, much more. I don’t work well with committees, let’s just leave it at that for now. For now.

Last week I did not work in the used book store that I co-manage for the local library because I was gallivanting. I was in another city, dancing in the streets (that story will come next week) and staying out too late and over-indulging in the best ways possible.

But one afternoon I did long for restorative cup of tea with a good book — a still point in a spinning world — so I dragged my weary butt into a quaint book store and stood, slack-jawed, in front of a table piled high with all manner of literature, travel, biography, memoir, local history, etc.

“Are you looking for anything in particular?” the kindly book seller asked.

I could barely speak, nearly out of my mind with fatigue, but I did manage to say, “I’m looking for something to read.”

The book seller looked at me with pity and I could read her mind. No Shit, Genius, she was thinking; YOU’RE IN A BOOK STORE.

It took me several long, agonizing minutes before I came across Stephen King’s book, On Writing, and knew it was just the thing. Then I asked where a tourist could go to get a quiet cup of tea and the bookseller directed me to a hidden cafe that only the locals know about.

And it was quiet, and the tea was good, and I read the first chapter, and all was well.

If you are ever in New Orleans and need a minute to yourself in calm surroundings with a nice cup of Assam, go to the CCs Coffee House on the corner of Royal and Saint Phillip in the French Quarter.

The rest — the loud stuff — I will tell you about next week.

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.

I could insert a Dump the Trump meme here, but let’s be happy. This could have been me last week y’all because I went to New Orleans!

And if Jesus was inside Notre Dame when it was burning, why didn’t He just put the damn fire out?

11 Comments, RSS

  1. Megan

    I am amazed at the wide open spaces in your beautiful library! I expected it to be full of stacks and some tables and chairs, yours is so open. I love the 10th hole! Oh and that toddler, he has his ‘game face’ on I guess… maybe the next Tiger Woods? So pleased to hear you raised so much money it was a most magnificent effort. I would have washed and ironed the table cloth too, you are quite rightly respectful to your sponsors. Glad you had a nice rest afterwards and even though you had second thoughts you did a great job, well done!

  2. Adrienne

    Whenever I do any kind of volunteer work, I always end of getting frustrated. One instance that comes to mind was the children’s art class in a museum in Washington DC that I volunteered at when I was in college (the “head teacher” was paid) I created and organized all the classes and brought up the attendance from 5 kids to 20. At the end of 3 years they found they could pay another person – the girlfriend of the teacher’s son. I got a lovely official thank you letter and a bent poster.

  3. Casey

    Golfing in the library. Whoodda thunk it??? The kids look so happy. Well done. Excellent interpretation of your dream, too. Watch out for little old ladies “doing good”. At the library, they could be church ladies in disguise.

    Last night I had a dream that I was buying coffee and I picked up two bags of coffee and had to pay a guy $50 for each bag and I was OK with it.

    I don’t even like coffee.

    Yes, please people, stop seeing Jesus in fires, toast, tree bark, or oil spills. HE ISN’T THERE.

  4. Marg-o

    Congratulations on your successful fund-raising event. You are a hero. This is thankless work. About the possible assassins among the “Friends”, I can relate. I have a story like yours and Adrienne’s, about how doing good always backfires.

    I volunteered at a homeless shelter for families (mostly single moms) and I organized a trip for their kids to Sesame Street Place. I got donations to cover the cost and the transportation, I got friends to act as chaperones, and I got all the paperwork filed (permission slips) and I gave everyone 35 days notice with constant reminders — Sesame Street Place! Sesame Street Place! It was a lot of work and the mothers all said that they would send their kids and they were happy to be able to give them a little fun yadda yadda yadda.

    The day came and it was a little cloudy, and ONE kid showed up, without her mother. Fine. I took one kid to Sesame Street Place.

    I did not appreciate that all the other mothers would later complain that I did not have a Plan B, a back-up date, because how could I take kids to Sesame Street Place when it was cloudy??? I should have known that a cloudy day was not a good day to go to Sesame Street Place, and it wasn’t their fault that their kids missed out on a day trip to Sesame Street Place IT WAS MY FAULT.

    This experience has informed all my charity work since then. I give time and money to protect animals. I’m not giving money to rebuild Notre Dame.

  5. Congrats on raising so much money for the library! That is a very impressive amount and it looks like you had a fine event with a good turnout — you should be proud, even if the committee work is frustrating.

    Call me crazy, but I do not see Jesus in that image. I think it takes quite a bit of imagination to get there!

  6. Leslie

    Speaking of Jesus, he didn’t get much cooperation or appreciation either, according to books on the subject. That’s how it is with people. Regardless, the smiling faces and the grand total are proof that you did a fabulous job. And you never have to do it again, there is life after miniature golf!
    And speaking of writing…I’m still waiting for good news about “Giverny.”

  7. Susan

    You did great! Raising $15k is impressive. I’m with you regarding committees. For me, a committee equates to the lowest common denominator. Frustrating as Hell. Your vacation sounds like a great time away. Just what you needed after all that Library work.

  8. Kirra

    Congratulations on an amazing looking mini golf event! I’m not surprised the kids were so excited. I’m sure you will be young again now the mini golf is over and you can hopefully mention the $15k to some of your annoying committee members. Your dream was pretty epic, I am intrigued to hear more about these ‘friends’ of the library.

    I always like hearing about good tea and books, I’ve heard the ‘On Writing’ book is good. I’m on holidays and have read two books, it’s great!

  9. The really grand thing is that you made some kiddos very happy! And you raised a ton of money!

    To heck with the Friends of…” and board of directors, and their ilk. I would guess your marketing skills are under appreciated and untapped (?) most of the time.

    I laughed several timed while reading your post, but especially when seeing the 10th hole (WOW!) and the youngest player! What a terrific event!

  10. CG

    I think if they had given you the $15K you would have felt a lot better.
    You certainly deserved it. Small spontaneous acts of kindness, like helping someone cross a street are a more rewarding generally…
    Just sayin’

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