< > Alchemy for Dummies 2: Marian, Madam Librarian

Friday, February 19, 2010

Marian, Madam Librarian

So my friend Larry Sk on Facebook mentioned he is going to see Shirley Jones known for many roles, including that of Marian Paroo, the librarian in River City. This and reading about Spencer's upcoming installation in Australia lead my mind back to our trip to Milford PA to take part in the October 2004 event there. We were really low in funds as we had two car problems that ate up any spare money we had for the trip. But Betsy knew how much I wanted to go and decided we were going even if it meant we had to sleep in the car. (Which it did.) I was in a bit of a funk the Saturday morning we left, unable to think straight or plan very well, and I had left the directions to the location at home. I was upset but thought maybe we could stop at a library along the way and check my email, which had the info we needed. This thought came as we were in mid Pennsylvania, so looking for a nearby town, we spotted Clarion PA. We turned to head up to this collage town where I thought we could get a bite to eat and check my email. As we drove up we talked of going to the library in Clarion, which led us to sing the Marian, Madam Librarian song from the Music Man - with our own variations on the lyrics, such as "Going to Clarion to see Marian the Librarian" etc. We sang this for a good half hour or so as we drove. Well, we arrived just after the library had closed. But we had seen signs there was a Clarion University so we thought we'd see if they had a library we could use. We stopped at a Wendy's and pulled up to order and we figured we'd ask for directions there as well. Imagine our surprise when the speaker announced "Hello, I'm Marian. May I take your order?" We started laughing so hard we couldn't respond for a minute or so. I'm sure she thought we were totally crazy. Then after we got our order out and we got to the window, we asked for directions to the university. "It's right there" she said pointing up the hill. So we paid, thanked her, and drove off laughing like loons. We reached the library building after a bit of hunting but it too was closed and so we ate and went back to the freeway. But we had seen a beautiful little town and university campus set in the hills with wonderfull fall leaves and we got to meet Marian of Clarion-not the librarian!
We eventually made it to Milford after sleeepin part of the night at a rest stop near Wilkes Barre PA and part of it in a gas station parking lot waiting for them to open. I picked a station that had Sunday papers sitting in a bundle out front because I knew that meant they would open later that morning. When they did we got gas and were on our way, making it to the installation in plenty of time; met my friend Savvy, and new friends, and had a wonderful if exhausting time. When we were done, and after the "after party" we had dinner, slept in another rest area that night and drove home the next day. A wonderful trip.


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