Books put smiles on dials
By Ian McDougall, volunteer
It’s rewarding, volunteering at the Gold Coast Street Library.
We get to bring joy to people who love reading – for entertainment, education or enlightenment – but who have limited access to books or magazines.
Thanks to a morning ferreting about our store house, we put smiles on dials of a number of people: Bibles and associated books for Terry, Wilbur Smiths for Dal (he kept the smile even though he’d read all seven titles we’d rounded up for him!!), a joke book for Graham and Stephen Kings for Stephen, both of which he hadn’t read … yay!
Terry – aka The Preacher – was particularly chuffed with a Bible in leather case and a First Bible for Children we unearthed from our stacks.
Terry’s not too keen on publicity as he feels some people are quick to have a go at those doing quiet work in their community.
“My daughter back home wants to put me up on her Facebook but why stick your head up only to have someone take you down,” he says.
“I don’t mind the nick-name but I don’t preach, as such.
“I do sit down with people and have a chat and I do talk about Christian things if people are inclined. But my messages are usually strong, positive and moral rather than Christian-specific, although I can quote some of Jesus’ teachings.
“Mainly I’m a good listener. I give way the Bibles and other books to people who ask for them.”
Terry took a special one I put aside for him: It’s Like That – a Spiritual Memoir by Reverend RUN, a rapper who turned around his former drug and anger-ridden life.
“This might be one the young people can relate to; too many getting themselves lost and finding trouble these days,” he said.
Comes a raspy voice from the side: “Hey, can you blokes tell me the way to Queensland?”
It’s Graham, whose surname should be lengthened to Donaheeheehee.
Loves a laugh and joke, does Graham. And a good yarn. “I can bullshit with the best of ’em,” he chuckles, “But it’s all about the story, isn’t it?”
Graham’s also after Christian books but Terry beat him to it this week. Never mind, mate, you’ve got first dibs next time. He smiles as I pass him a joke book, though.
Graham’s also a boxing fan, although fan might be too light a term.
“I’ve been following boxing for 67 years, since I was a little tacker,” he says.
“Watched fights, seen the movies and documentaries, been to training gyms.
“I’ve read every book I can find on boxing. That being said, I’ve got books galore so there could be one there I bought 20 years ago that I haven’t got to yet.
“There’s so many boxing books it’ll take me another 50 years to get through ’em, I reckon.”
I hazard a quip: Dunno about boxing books, but we’ve got boxes of books!
“Maaaate!” he says, shaking his head.
Graham’s after Night Train, about Sonny Liston. “Only got half way through before it disappeared,” he said. “I’m dead keen to finish it.”
He heads off to see some mates but can’t resist a parting jab to me and Terry.
“I was in Sydney once and asked a bloke what was the quickest way to get to Long Bay. He said a coupla murders and a bashing should do it!”