31.3.13

All About Maxine



Yesterday, the 30th of March, Mr. Vague and I traveled back to the little town I grew up in for a plaque dedication ceremony at the public library in honor of my grandmother, Maxine Jeraldine LeMieux Huber.
My grandmother's beloved library, like the town itself, is small, simple and unassuming, but it was her pride and joy.







During the dedication service, several people spoke about Maxine and I learned many new things about my grandmother - and her resolve - that I'd never heard before.

After mothering more than half a dozen children and a full 25 years after graduating high school, Maxine returned to the learning arena, putting herself through college while working full time and managing a household.  The former she had to do in secret, fearing the disapproval of her husband (who, after a time, did come to feel proud of his wife's accomplishments).  I learned that, as town librarian, she could read her patrons like an open book, knowing their taste in literature sometimes better than they did themselves.  My Aunt Vay recounted how once, a library patron lamented that she couldn't check out books without Maxine because, as she put it, "I don't know what I like".  
But grandma always did.

{ above:  her son Phil read a touching bio he wrote about my grandmother's accomplished life.  Phil and his mother graduated from college on the same day.
below:  Aunt Vay read a nice poem about the joys of reading, and uncle Tom told a funny story about a dog who got a library card (much to Maxine's chagrin). }




Though I was quite young when she passed away, I understood even then that Maxine was an important figure in the community, providing limitless worlds for the citizens of her town, and inviting them to come and visit anytime with her and her "shelves of friends".

 { above:  the plaque (still hidden behind brown paper) is right inside the front door, just above the book return box; a prominent location.  
Below:  The very dignified plaque, designed and worded by my uncle Tom. }


*

{ above:  a happy and hopeful Maxine on her wedding day.  Wasn't she beautiful? }


*

{ below:  my sisters of a different mister.  L to R: me, Maggie, Kyla, Ambrosia.  My grandmother is featured in the background of the painting we are standing in front of. }

*

Happy birthday, grandma!