For over seven and a half years I lived in the borough of Wyoming, in Luzerne County, in northeastern Pennsylvania. Because of my never having owned a computer during that time, I was in the habit of going daily to the Wyoming Free Library on Wyoming Avenue, next door to the Methodist church, close to the Eighth Street intersection. I soon became a part of the library’s collective peresonality and image. In most respects it was quite a very nice friendly environment frequented by a cast of decent likable offbeat characters. My one grudge against the people there was that they appeared to have had absolutely no respect whatsoever for the need for peace and quiet. I grew up in an environment where the obligation to maintain strict silence at all times, in both public and school libraries, was considered utterly sacrosanct, and the older I get the more I resent noise. There was a certain very nice family there, who showed up regularly, who really bothered me in this respect. Ultimately they were quite the likable friendly bunch. They were always so nightmarishly annoying though. The husband and wife showed up at least a few days a week, often with at least one of their kids. They were entirely too loud and talkative. Although there were signs in the library that specifically forbade the use of cell phones on the premises that rule was never enforced and they took every possible advantage of it. One day a few years ago I happened to have overheard a cell phone conversation between the father and one of his sons. The son had been sent to jail for either drinking, drugs or some equivalent offense. I can’t remember which it was. All his father did on the phone, for the course of quite a very long time, was yell and complain, and make explicit references to the specific problem. Besides the fact that excessive noise has always made me crazy, the subject matter of the phone call was hardly the least bit fit for public consumption. Predictably I cringed and got frustrated. It’s a confusing predicament to have to be in. Do I politely affect a couldn’t-care-less smirk and shrug? Do I give someone like that a mean nasty smirk, which I tend to do spontaneously? I’d always recognized that these characters were very much on the colorful side anyway but this was entirely ridiculous. I became so resentful and frustrated. His behavior showed an utter lack of prudence and tact. This wasn’t even an isolated incident. He and his wife would frequently say things, within earshot of others, that drove me crazy. The constant airing of their dirty laundry in public made me feel uncomfortable because I’ve never really looked forward to hearing all those private personal things about the dark side of strangers’ lives. Especially since they were always so very charming and friendly with me, it got me crazy. I knew they weren’t really bad but their tendency to be so loud and to let their guard down in public was enough to drive me entirely out of my mind.
Easter went really well considering all our trouble lately. Mary Anne, Steve, Michael and Bridget showed up from Long Beach. Sam was visiting his other grandmother in Florida. Erin was with her family in New York. Uncle Frankie and Fran were both here and Aunt Lauren and Uncle Jim paid a visit too. All worked out except that it was entirely too fattening for me. Unfortunately Michael and I didn’t get any cigars , nor did Steve go for his usual ice cream trip. As always there was trouble with lectoring. Gabrielle’s mother called and asked me to lector for Gabrielle on Easter Sunday so all their family could be together at the Easter Vigil. Jared called and asked me to cover for him on Palm Sunday. I ended up being one of the lectors at the Holy Saturday Vigil anyway. The lay Carmelite meetings have been going well. Last week’s meeting was cancelled. I went to Rose Chairge’s on Luzerne Avenue in West Pittston a few weeks ago to get a haircut. My last haircut was at the Pittston Tomato Festival in the summer. A few days ago the Wyoming Free Library, in conjunction with the Methodist church next door, had one of their regular book sales. I made sure I got a few books, as I always do. There was quite an interesting selection. I even found “The Awakeners” by Sherri S. Tepper. I first heard of her when I took Marlene S. Groner’s ethics class at S.U.N.Y Farmingdale a long time ago. For that class I was forced to read “The Gate to Women’s Country”.
The infamous Fourth of July Hilldale feeding frenzy is coming up. I just don’t have the strength or patience to handle it all. I know I shall get even fatter than I, alas, already am. I lose all sense of moderation at times like this. All the cousins have been, for the past couple of weeks, in quite a tither about it. It will be nice to see so many of my cousins get together. I can get along quite well with most of them. An unusually stupid (even for Pa.) thing happened last week. As I was pulling out of the Wyoming Free Library’s parking lot to make a right turn into the turn lane to go home, some simple~minded woman pulled, from Wyoming Avenue, exactly into the lane, of the parking lot, which I was in, flatly refused to yield to my right of way. She had a few kids with her. I’ve always known, for as far back as I can remember, that northeastern Pa. is well known as the home of a bunch of fruitcakes anyway but this was a particularly annoying stunt. She flatly refused to give me the satisfaction of yielding to me. I deliberately refused to let her have her way either at first. She could have very easily turned into the other lane & let me through. After a while I just gave up & let this creep have her way because I came to understand that I was dealing with an especially arrogant character who couldn’t be expected to give in. The way people drive around here is not to be believed & the fact that the police pander to pedestrians doesn’t exactly help much either. Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday. A very happy day is hereby officially wished to all the menfolk who qualify.