I dropped my son off in Fort Worth, TX last weekend. This is a first. My oldest son has moved onto a new life. I am still included, but this is his life, his choices. I am so excited for him. And, of course, scared. But that is part of a “first”.
Anyway, we stayed for a couple of days in Fort Worth. It is a cool town. It reminds me of Birmingham with all the little sections, like Avondale, Southside, etc. We stayed in a section of town called Sundance Square. It was pretty cool. Monday, Dennis had conference calls in the morning, so I decided to explore. I had daydreams of walking around, finding a nice coffee shop and observing life. It did not quite happen that way. I tried to use google maps to walk around town. I am horrible with maps. For the life of me I could not find anything but Starbucks. I was not going to drive 10 hours to have Starbucks coffee. I don’t drink it in Birmingham!!! An hour later I was back at the hotel drinking free coffee from the lobby. With enough creamer, it tasted just as good as the coffee I didn’t have at the “cool” coffee shop I didn’t find.
After Dennis finished working, we walked towards the Water Gardens. There was no water. I’m not sure if it was due to Covid. We could see the potential of the beauty if the water were on. It was cool. We walked a different way back home. On the corner, a block and a half from our hotel, was a most beautiful sight: A book store!!! I was so excited. But, it didn’t open until 11. It was only 9:30. We headed back to the hotel and Dennis worked some more. I tried to lie down for a bit, but the bookstore was calling my name. I waited until close to 11 and headed that way. Next door was the “cool” coffee shop I had been in search of all morning. I walked in and was bombarded with the most amazing smell of real coffee, a real coffee shop. It was no bigger than a stamp, but it fit the bill. Well, I contemplated getting another cup of coffee, but I don’t think my body could withstand anymore caffeine. It was blazing hot outside as well. The girl suggested this refreshing drink they make. She described it as lemon, sugar water, mint and some other chai or something. IT WAS SO GOOD!!! I took a picture of it and posted it on FB. I think it is really corny to post pics of food and drink, but it was so good.
At 11:01 I entered the magical kingdom called Barbers Book Store. It is not a typical bookstore as we know today. It sold rare and collectible books. You don’t find the rare collectibles in the shelves of this bookstore. The money makers are in the office in the back. I could hear people talking through the walls. One man sat at the counter at front. Bookstores like these are like worm holes. I can definitely get lost and the aisles go on forever and lead to more rooms and shelves. Books are stacked on the floors
The organized chaos in this book store reminds me of my life. I know that is a corny analogy, however, it works for me. Everyone’s brain spins out of control. No one is excluded. However, the “out of whack” brain some of us have is beyond that. This book store is like that. At first glance, the bookstore looks like a bomb went off inside. But, upon closer inspection, you can see how these books are divided into subject. Even some of the subjects can be as bizarre as the store itself. The books within the subject can be just as bizarre.
Take for instance, this book on The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. It was in a section highlighting women in history. I didn’t delve too much into it, however, the pink carnation must be a significant symbol for women. I will let you research that yourself.
The next subject I saw was the best!! Law and Medicine were grouped together. The irony just does me in!!! These booksellers have a stellar sense of humor.
Books are amazing. Some bookstores are even more so. I used to go to one like this down town next to Merrill Lynch. I spent my entire lunch hour walking around in circles. That store was not as big is this one, but the concept was still the same.
Now, I know this store does not make its money off the books up front. No, I heard the real book dealers talking in the back. The walls were thin. It is there they make the bucks. The rare books are held in the back; the collectibles and autographed original copies.
You see, our personalities, the very soul of us, is in the “back”. We only show it to a select few; the ones who can “afford” to look and understand the value. We hold some traits close, deep down. We are selective on who can really see this side of us. To the masses, we show the chaos which is our lives. Some look like the pink carnation, some look like roses, some are the epitome of the dichotomy of medicine and law grouped together. No two of us is alike.
Sometimes it is very necessary to keep the gems of us close to us. It is a self preservation tool. However, sometimes we must draw courage from within us to share those gems to brighten and enrich other people. The beautiful, rare part of us, which makes us who we truly are, can be a valuable gift to someone.
I challenge each of you to share what you feel comfortable. Share some rare stories which can benefit and enrich others. Someone may need it without you knowing.