The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Jack Williamson's gone, but fun remains at lectureship


April 7, 2017

There is a thought that people think about growing up on the farm. They imagine many things, but I suspect that a library isn’t the first image that pops into the brain.

Some of you may have gotten there quickly and I’m glad you understand. But for clarity, let me paint you a picture.

The room was built with one full wall of bookshelves and a few shelves that weren’t really optimized for the storage of literature — being too deep and neither tall nor short enough. Less than half the room was set for books and, yet, it was destined to be defined as the library.

The works of L’Amour, Asimov, Clavell, Clancy, Cussler, Ludlum, and many more filled the shelves. Stacks hid the neat rows of books that were shelved as intended. The knowledge and adventure grew and grew, but even with the addition of shelves in pretty much any place that would have them, there was never enough room to hold the collection of bounded paper that contained so much to be experienced.

My love for books was powerful and sudden, and it is still a passion that has dimmed only when it is shaded by the passion that it birthed — the passion to not only read, but to write the books.

The library at home was where it all started, then the library in town when I could manage to get there. (And I still have a bit of a pain when I remember there was a limit on the number of books I could take home…)

My own collection developed from a shelf, to the walls of my room, to most of my house’s walls, to a semi-truck loaded with a number that will be difficult to top.

On the tractor, on a horse, or under some piece of equipment with my back in the sand when it was the only shade to be found. I read a lot and I regret it not at all.

I read more than most people I knew, with the exception of my dear dad, so it wasn’t a thing that I got to relate with to others or go places to talk about. But I still remember how much fun it was when my dad started taking me to the Williamson lectures at Eastern New Mexico University.

Now Jack Williamson is gone, but the fun still remains. I’ll be there today because it is a special day.

Audra Brown is a sand-bookworm. Contact her at: [email protected]


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