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Monday, June 1, 2009

Meanwhile Back at the SHL

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Well, until ten seconds ago I had bloggers block. Which had never happened to me before. Then I thought about where I was going today, the Society Hill Library, and bingo, I remembered I had promised to tell you about two more of our patrons. I will start with Devon first. When I was the branch manager, and was there 8 hours a day, I really looked forward to four o'clock when the school bus from Darlington arrived.

The former librarian had introduced me to Devon and told me what a great guy he was. Devon did not disappoint. He knew way more about the library computer system than I did and often got me out of jams. (We used a different system in my school library and I think I had ten minutes training before they left me alone in Society Hill as the manager.)

The library closed at eight and I would offer to take Devon home. After all the boy got on the bus at 6 am......he had had no supper.....it was the least I could do. His home was a ramshackle trailer (NOT a mobile home) on the black side of town. About six blocks from the library. When he worked on school stuff, which was not all that often, I insisted on him letting me proof read his work. (I was a high school English teacher at one time.) His work wasn't bad; it was usually past due.

I printed up assignment pages with dates and subjects.....organized his notebook....and tried to organize his book bag......if I could have just gotten in that trailer.....BAM! as Emeril would say! It would probably have been BAM as a shotgun went off.

There were A lot of teenagers in Devon's family. I never could get them all straight. Not all of them lived in Society Hill. His Dad lived somewhere else. Sometimes he went to Alabama or wherever in the summer for a week or so to visit. Sometimes a teenage sister came to the library, but usually it was Devon all day every day in the summer.

His grandparents own some kind of "store" across from the street where I turn to take him home. There where no lights except one dim green bulb hanging down on the from stoop of what to me looked like a house not a store and a couple of men hanging around.

The good news is: Devon finishes high school this week at the county Magnet School in Darlington and has been accepted at Winthrop a SC College (not a black college) in Rock Hill. Now how he will get there is a mystery. I have never seen a car at the trailer. As far as I know he doesn't have his driver's license. South Carolina does have Life Scholarships for all who maintain an A/B average. I've had really good former students who were organized and motivated who didn't do that.

I hope and pray Devon can break the cycle of poverty in his family and graduate from college. He wants to major in Education. Did I mention he has a GREAT personality? He does. I hope he makes it! Libraries can make a difference folks.....just ask Devon!

1 comment:

mary bailey said...

It's so like God to make your library a mission field for you. Yes, libraries make a difference, but a compassionate YOU has made a difference for Devon. I love this story!