Memories: Of Libraries, Books and Ice Cream

Memories: Of Libraries, Books and Ice Cream

icecreamspoononbookEvery day something jogs my memory of Charles and I’ll wonder what he’d think of this or that. Yesterday it was libraries (books) and ice cream. We shared the love of those two important staples of life and couldn’t get enough of them!

We first met face to face in a library and of course, library research was vital to the writing and publishing of Charles’ memoir, Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance.  

When many questioned our move into Detroit’s Cass Corridor almost 16 years ago we snapped back, “It’s within walking distance of the main branch of the Detroit Public Library!” And today if Charles was living he’d be delighted to know that even closer is Source Booksellers, a neighborhood indie book store that stocks a carefully selected collection of books including his story.

Charles mentions the importance of the two staples (his school and home library and a local ice cream shop) as part of his idyllic pre-world War II childhood in what is now Slovakia.

On Libraries/Books:

“My reading skills increased, and by the end of third grade—June 1936—I had read all of the books in the little school library. Then I started reading my father’s books, which required greater literacy; I had to read them twice to understand them better. I was incredibly impressed with a history of Bohemia, which had its beginnings in the year 400 A.D., and learned of how its culture and Christianity had come from the Mediterranean.”

On Ice Cream:

banska-bystrica1cr“When Mother traveled to Bañská Bystrica, a nice little town, I enjoyed accompanying her.  She would take me to an ice cream shop and buy a ‘crémeš’ – a cream pie with ice cream.”  Over 60 years later Charles looked for that shop when we visited Bañská Bystrica.

In the course of writing Border Crossings many scoops were eaten to celebrate the completion of a chapter or even a paragraph! And sometimes scoops were eaten when the writing got tough! We often lamented the absence of an ice cream shop in the neighborhood. Though it certainly helped to keep our weight down.

So what happened yesterday that made me think of Charles, libraries (books) and ice cream?

Yesterday at the Grosse Pointe Public Library branch where I work, one of our librarians had the vision to combine those two important staples of life – LIBRARIES and ICE CREAM. She invited an ice cream truck to serve free delicious treats to our patrons at the LIBRARY.

treatdreamscr2And if Charles was still living he’d be delighted to know where that ice cream truck come from? From Treat Dreams! The wonderful new ice cream store with a branch in OUR neighborhood. A store that stocks “lovingly created” innovative ice creams with the motto: “Peace. Love. Ice Cream. Treat Dreams!”

Perhaps, they’ll decide to do what I’ve read another ice cream maker considered – Create LIBRARY FLAVORS! How about Li-berry pie and Sh-sh-sh-sherbet? Or would you prefer Malt Whitman or Gooey Decimal System?

Any other suggestions?

2 Replies to “Memories: Of Libraries, Books and Ice Cream”

  1. Charming. One can feel the love in Charles and your life. That sensitivity is also found in his story ‘Border Crossing’. It’s a great read. Now, where is my ice cream?

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