Wandering Conversations


Three Tuesday evenings a month I volunteer in the Friends of the Library bookstore at the local library. It’s a great gig – mass market paperbacks are 50 cents and hardbacks are 3 bucks. Also, I can read if it’s not busy and no one objects.

My shift is 3 hours long. Last night I had customers who were chatty – for the first two hours I listened to customers. By the time the chatty people left, I didn’t have time to read because there were bookstore things I needed to do.

What struck me, though, was the variety of topics that were discussed in that two hours. I believe it started with the vacation I have planned to the Mediterranean and Italy later this year. In no special order, here are the topics I could remember once I was alone:

Italy – both for travel and during WWII
Ancient architecture both in Europe and Korea
glamor photography
Bosnia and the conflict there
evil in the human heart
Paris, the Nazi occupation, and current neo-Nazism
Chinese people
Northern California – current and the shipping and lumber industries in the late 1800’s
European train system
digital photography
beginning of the Viet Nam war
recovery from surgery
British and Italian governments – how they function
basis of Christianity
Francis Bacon

I know there was more, but I was amazed at how our conversations were all over the place. Although one of the chatters’ hobby is photography, the digital photography and the glamor photography were separate conversations with other things in the middle.

Whew! If I remember a third of what I learned last night, I’ll be a wiser woman.