Write Your Story @ the Union City Library
Join our senior library member Bruce Haase and write your memoir. Bruce is a life long reader, he now writes memoire-based, creative non-fiction. These are informal meetings to support each other and organize your thoughts for writing. Sharing is optional.
Meetings take place the third Tuesday of the Month
April 21, May 19, and June 16….1 — 3 p.m.
Please bring your pen & paper.
For more information: Bruce Haase, Email: email@example.com
or Union City Library 510-745-14: Location: UNION CITY BRANCH – Get Directions
the following story was submitted by Bruce Hasse
The Learned Leprechaun: a tale of Irish Boston, on a hidden and forgotten lane
a fiction?, it could be…
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Back then and there, in the old Irish section of Boston resided a weathered, “Previously Enjoyed Published Collections & more…,” shop. Above the door, a slowly swinging, fading and peeling, wooden sign bore a cartoon of a hat and glasses clad Leprechaun, in a wind-storm. He’s running past an overflowing kettle, chasing tumbling books and papers that are leading him up a path. “The Learned Leprechaun” was painted, in green and gold, on the streaked and dusty front window.
Smiling, I thought, “how clever, he’s passing up gold in pursuit of knowledge!” Now, being a reader and searcher myself, I couldn’t let this two-dimensional fellow pass by. Feeling captured, I was drawn into the three-dimensional store, to seek that “most elusive,” the fabled fourth dimension, that dimension of erudite wisdom.
Inside it was warm, with air slightly stale. Left over scents of pipe tobacco, whisky and ale. Dust and mouldering books, drying and cracked ancient leather, with traces of old pizza and older Irishmen seemingly added for seasoning. There was a soft, clear sound of classical, “old sod,” folk music quietly tip-toeing out of leaning stacks and crooked aisles. Here and there a comfortable chair or two sat, with floor lamps and side tables, no hinted encouragement to ‘move on’…
Behind a check-out counter two old men sat, bent over their small desks. Each wearing those jeweler magnifier things, both busily operating on books, rather then watches and such. Wandering the aisles I came across a few customers, pulling down volumes and looking at the front fly leaves. They would laugh or smile, sometimes their eyes would squint slightly and they stayed motionless in contemplation. I watched as they found their answers, and with a humph or a grin return the book to it’s nest and move up or down the shelves.
In front of me were a few copies of Moby Dick, I pulled one and opened it to the front flyleaf. There, in an elegant calligraphy was written, “To fish with vengeance may be hazardous to one’s health.” and a note that, “This warning is brought to you by the US Dept. of Labor, OSHA Division and The International Association of Great Whales.” Below was a clever sketch of a lightly tinted grey Sperm Whale, winking and pointing at the reader… Another copy of Moby Dick had a sketch of a square-rigged whaling ship, decaying on the ocean floor, above it, a large old whale was regaling three younger, smaller whales, he was pointing down and bragging proudly, his chest all puffed out. The three in his captive audience rolled their eyes in boredom, “Oh my, how often had they heard this old tale before…”
I picked up “The Catcher in the Rye,” there was no drawing inside, but it was signed with a quote, “Protect your little siblings and all of the children, the world’s a dirty place.” ~ Holden Caulfield ’51 …
In “A Tale of Two Cities”, just a sketch of a Guillotine and an apron wearing shopkeeper using it to slice sausage. A small caption, “It was the wurst of times”, spelled “w-u-r-s-t,” sat below, as if daring the reader, ‘don’t dare groan!” Not being able to stop myself, I groaned…
“Oliver Twist” Beckoned, I tried to guess what would be inscribed to entertain me… It was signed, ”Oliver Twist,” with this four line verse, “You best take heed, Mister Dickens, I have need, to get my pickens!” It took me a moment to remember that Dickens was the author, and Twist was the character.
I had only a half-hour to stay in the shop, things to do you know. I stayed three hours, and purchased four books. Two of them already lived in my library, I needed these new additions for the flyleaf’s…
The old men were personable and funny, their eyes with intellect, surely did twinkle, but alas, they weren’t short nor possess the Irish brogue . Sadly, they were not Leprechauns, oh, how I wished that they were. I shall pretend that they are, I’ll return to “The Learned Leprechaun” it’s so near, not too far … (end)
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