“Never were maidens more ardently pursued than we were by the elements in the pioneer days of rural bookmobiles in the great Pacific Northwest.”
December 1947 issue of the Library News Bulletin (LNB).
Patina Tenterhooks, or “Book Lady Tenterhooks,” as the children called her, was a day late and a dollar short. It all started when she detoured off the scheduled bookmobile route for a special delivery. On her way out, the truck got stuck in the mud and she had to pay for the loan of a mule to pull her out. To make matters worse, she was on her own today. The other librarian was at home delivering a calf. Patina looked down at her once-shiny shoes and the slightly worn hem of her skirt, both splattered with mud, and sighed. She should have joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Core instead of taking the “nice, clean” library job in town. She imagined all of the people along the route waiting for her, arriving at their meeting places on foot, by bicycle or jeep, or even in horse-drawn buggies covered with a layer of dust. She felt their anticipation pulling her forward like the tension holding a tightrope. Well, there was nothing to do but gun the engine and hope they would still be waiting when she arrived.