If you are feeling a bit blue today, I urge you to check out this story by Denis Theriault from today's San Jose Mercury News. 82-year-old philanthropist Lorry I. Lokey donated $20 million to Santa Clara University to help build their new library. The university would have happily named the building after him, but instead, Lokey surprised his longtime companion, Joanne Harrington, by having them name it after her instead. There's this picture in the article of her looking happy, perhaps a bit teary-eyed, at the ceremony, while he has eyes only for her. It is truly beautiful.
And then, as if I wasn't already smitten, I read this part:
"But Lokey said he also meant to honor another important woman in his life: Mary Belle Hancock, the librarian at his grammar school in Portland, Ore. Lokey says Hancock inspired him to a life of reading and writing. To pay tribute, he dedicated a stone to her in front of the library.
"This librarian was a sweetheart," Lokey said. "She made me a pretty serious student.""
How excellent is that? He is 82 years old, and paying tribute to his elementary school librarian. I know that when I am 82 years old I'll remember my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Tuttle, and that I'll still have the books that she gave me as gifts. But I doubt I'll be in a position to build a library in her honor... Thanks, Mr. Lokey, for brightening my day immensely.
© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.