CVCL Library Talk

get the lowdown on Camp Verde Community Library

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Where Have You Been? At the Library – Mike Bove

Mike Bove image copy“I spent a lot of time in the library at school, that’s where the smart girls were.” I wrote that for one of my books, but it’s true. I spent a lot of time in a lot of libraries, and sat with a lot of smart girls, mostly at different tables.

Not so much in grade school, I stayed clear of girls then, and the librarian was a big mean nun, Sister Mary Something.

But, by Jr-Hi there was a blonde named Alice who often sat next to me in classes because our last name initials were the same. And, boy, was she ever smart. I was kinda smart, so we were in a bunch of the same classes. She was also pretty. I was nervous. Alice knew everything the teachers asked, and the teachers knew she knew all the answers so they stopped calling on her. They started calling on me!

This continued in HS, and I still never spoke to Alice, except “Hi,” or ” Scuse me.” I hung out in the library, because I thought that’s where the smart girls would be, and sure enough, I’d see her there frequently. And then, one day (it seemed that sudden) I manned up and began initiating conversations with her. Eventually, she took part. Later we would meet in the library after school to do homework. Later we would meet other kids at the Rexall after school for cherry cokes.

Then we graduated and I never saw Alice again until our twentieth HS reunion, and she may have still been smart, but was not still pretty.

However, in the meantime, there was college.

There was a girl I liked, but she wasn’t in any of my classes. Naturally, I looked for her at the snack bar, dining hall, and in the library. I kidded her about drinking tea, and she was amused when I turned my cake upside down because the icing was too sweet. I bugged her in the library, especially in the library, because there was not a ton of people around, annoying her at first, mostly about her being left-handed, or her long auburn hair and and abundant freckles. We soon were laughing often and loud enough to get thrown out. More than once. The first time was when I drew a picture of her with just a few short hairs sticking out of a bald head with predominant freckles and big ears with big holes and dangling rubber chicken earrings. That was because she wanted to get a short haircut and her ears pierced. I wasn’t sure I’d like her that way. She didn’t do it, not until a long time later.

By then we had discovered the grass behind the library.

Not right behind the building, but past some trees, up a small hill, and between some other pine trees. Standing at our spot we could see the library, but not if we were lying in the grass. The first time was for a walk, to get some air, since we had been studying seriously for a couple of hours straight. I was a Phys Ed major so I was able to help her out with her nursing courses. I think she was smarter than she let on so that I would help with the anatomy stuff. We often brought a blanket with our books to our spot in the grass up the small hill and studied more there than in the library. Weather permitting.

We went to our grass spot several times with no book or blanket, just to sit and talk during tough times, or to walk silently hand-in-hand at odd times. Back of the library, turn right. Where have you been? At the library.

While I was a public school teacher I spent a lot of time in the library. Working, planning classes. I noticed smart girls there. And smart boys, too. I knew what was going on. The boys were flirting, I mean studying, with Alices and future nurses. I would smile and secretly wish them luck, just a bit of the luck I had.

That was many years ago and I am still holding on to my luck, my nurse, my wife.


Mike Bove is an ex-teacher and coach, and also a retired postman from New England. He reads a lot of mysteries from the library or on his kindle and even wrote a couple of Bruce DelReno Mysteries,WillowTree and Stinger Maguire . He now lives in Cottonwood with his wife and golden retriever.


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Of Many Libraries – John Jenkins

John W. Jenkins image
I look across my desk to my home library. Most are old friends, more are in other bookshelves. Some authors are living now, most speak from their graves. One old friend is a well-worn dictionary; others are seminary professors who keep me honestly Christian when I visit other faiths.

Then there’s Shakespeare, in a class of his own. His plays and poems are deep and puzzling at times. When I fail to understand England’s sixteenth century Elizabethan words I have a book that helps me. I try not to fail.

Poets, explorers, fiction writers speak from my book shelves. Also my how-to books teach photography, writing, computer and publishing, fiction and prose, physics and astronomy, all which make my heart sing and imagination soar.

Then again, Amazon Fire Fly contains my digital library. Fortunately, my thirst for knowledge is not restricted to my home library. No sirree! It is only a tiny extension of our own Camp Verde Community Library, which has connections to communities throughout Yavapai County.

My first library in the middle 1930s was a two-story schoolhouse in Fulton, Michigan. Its public education came in eight rows of desks below, each row a grade—one teacher. High School was upstairs with four rows of desks—one teacher.

The school’s library was a room about the size of a large bathroom, with wall to wall shelves, from ceiling to flour. Its shelves held hundred of books standing at attention, waiting to be read. If I could have read them all, I would have had a literature road map leading out of town to the world beyond. Even so, simple adventure fiction led me out of myself. I read Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes again and again. He was the man I wanted to be like when I grew up. Jane came with Tarzan and that was ok. My Jane was beyond my radar, two years younger, living many miles away.

Returning from Okinawa and Japan by troop ship, in late 1949, I visited the ship’s meager library and pulled out a biography of Thomas Eakins with prints of his paintings. Inspired, I wanted to be an artist.

In the early 1970s, I was asked to serve on the Camp Verde Library Building Committee. We focused on building plans, fund-raising projects, and grants. Furthermore, we discussed construction bids and presented our decision. Over the decades, our library has become an important member of our community, educating generations and helping to form the personality of our town.

Most mornings I visit our Camp Verde Library and greet volunteers and staff. Then, I read the Wall Street Journal, borrow magazines, do research, and look over shelves of DVD movies. Mondays I often attend poetry and prose writing sessions. Also, our book review group helps me discover new authors and what they have to contribute. This I enjoy.

Next year, our new library will be finished and our old library will be given a new life a new building. It will continue to grow exponentially in our twenty-first century to better teach, serve and form. Quoting Shakespeare’s Hamlet out of context, nevertheless true today: “What dreams may come, must give us pause.”
John Jenkins is a retired minister, gardener, beekeeper, artist, poet, writer, fly fisherman, reader, thinker, and author of A Voice In the Wilderness, a book of inspirational essays, and Catching a Dream; a Bicycle Journey Across America. Beside his cross country bicycle trip, John has hiked the Grand Canyon many times. John and Doris have three children, seven grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.

John lives in Camp Verde continuing his journey without Doris, his wife of 60 years who passed in 2011, where he explores his love of nature, the mind, and the spirit. He is currently working on “Insights” and “Methodist Monk.”


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Galloping to the Library – Doris McFadden

“Our library books arDoris McFadden Library horse image 4e due. We better take them back to the library.” My mother was referring to the small Richmond, California, Public Library branch near our home.

“Let me saddle up Pacer,” I replied. Always eager to visit our library, I gathered my books and ran out to the corral, where Pacer stood under the shade of a peach tree.

Once a wild mustang, Pacer’s lineage went back hundreds of years. White, with a long white mane which sparkled silver in the sunlight, his appearance was dazzling. I named him Pacer after a wild horse in a library book (The Pacing Mustang in Wild Animals I Have Known by Earnest Thompson Seton) my dad read to me.

Pacer saw me approaching, pricked up his ears, and whinnied, hoping for a treat. I grabbed a halter and entered the corral. Patting Pacer’s neck, I gently placed the halter over his head and led him to the hitching post. I pulled the red and white striped Navajo blanket off the fence, placed it on his back, and tossed the saddle over him. I mounted and rode off waving to my mother telling her I’d meet her at the library.

At first we went along at a gentle lope, but Pacer wanted to move out, tossing his mane and moving sideways. So I let him run, flying with the wind across grassy fields. I felt his powerful muscles engaging as his stride reached out, eating the earth as his wildness came back.

Minutes later we arrived at the library. When I pulled him up, he kept stomping and pawing as I calmed him. “Easy, fellow. Good boy.” He settled down. I dismounted and tied him to the porch railing.

Inside the library several boys and girls looked at books. The librarian smiled and asked where my mother was. I told her I’d ridden my horse ahead of her.

“You rode your horse over here?” She and the children all dashed outside to see my horse.

I went to the books about horses and chose C. W. Anderson’s Favorite Horse Stories and How to Draw Horses, two of my favorite books.

The boys and girls came back in laughing. One boy glowered and said, “There ain’t no horse out there.” I ignored him and continued looking through the books.

I checked out my books, placed them in my saddlebags, mounted Pacer, and galloped home.

Any eight-year-old horse crazy kisd would be proud to ride their own horse to the library, even if he was made of a wooden stick, painted white, with a horse-shaped head, curtain trimming mane, and dog leash reins.

Doris McFadden

Doris McFadden is a wolf activist, dog trainer, and educator. Throughout her life she has embodied the Spirit of the Wolf, the Voice of the Raven, and the Courage of The Lone Ranger. Remaining an inspiration to all who know her, she teaches dog training, offers workshops, and follows her lifelong interests in animals, the environment, and a creative life. Author of Wolf Howl Raven Speak: a Collection of Poems, Stories, and Dream  she lives in Camp Verde with Sirius, her retired racing greyhound.

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My First Library – Babe Daley

I started first grade in 1931 at Osborn School in Phoenix. My teacher was Bonnie Baskett. We were at war from the first day I picked up a pencil with my left hand. I never learned to write legibly, but I sure learned to read. By the time I was in the second grade I had discovered the library and found out that Mrs. Thompson, the librarian, would let me take books home. What a happy day!

I started reading Zane Grey and didn’t quit until I had read all the westerns. From then on I read every book I could find. We lived on a farm, and I didn’t have anyone to play with, so by summer when I could no longer get into the library I discovered my parents had a set of the Book of Knowledge. Wow! My old uncle lived with us and he subscribed to The National Geographic, so, I had something else to read.

Now, at 90, I`m still reading. My tastes have changed, but, I`m still reading.

About Babe Daley

Babe1I was born in Phoenix in 1925 the 6th of 7 children. We had a farm at what is now, 11th Avenue and Thomas Road. Phoenix Community Collage is there now. There was very little money during the Depression, but I was young enough that it didn’t bother me much. We always had extra people living with us, so we had lots of interesting things going on.

I finished high school in May 1943 and Frank and I were married in June. We had 4 children. 3 girls and one son. We lost our oldest daughter when she was 39 years old. Frank passed in 2000.

I’ve had a good life, a lot of fun and a good ride.