We recently donated our old encyclopedia set to a school in New Guinea. The book drive was being held at the Elephants Deli here in Portland in conjunction with Portland Roasting Company’s “Ready To Read” program. Channel 12 here in Portland was covering it, which is how I heard about it. During one of the segments, it was mentioned that they really would love encyclopedias – as these were for schools that had no books in their libraries.
The encyclopedias have been sitting on a shelf here for years. With the internet access and many computers in our home, we just were not using them. Rich had wanted to donate them to a rummage sale, but I didn’t think that was the right place for them. Even though Rich bought them many years ago, they were much more special to me than to him. He isn’t that sentimental about things.
Rich bought the set, used, when he was twenty and stationed in Korea. He had grown up very poor – moving often and changing schools a few times a year. Sometimes they had to live in shelters. He also didn’t have support to further his education after high school even though he loved math and science. His father had said that college was a rip-off. College was just a dream and he didn’t even know there were advanced degrees.
After he was out of the military for a few years, Rich did go to college. He earned a bachelors, then a masters in Physics. He now is working on his PhD.
To me the encyclopedia set represented Rich’s love of learning – I am glad it went to a new home where it will be appreciated.
So Carl and I checked with Rich, packed up the books and drove down to the Elephants Deli for breakfast (it was a scheduled day off from school). We got there at the perfect time, the live segment had just finished, but the crew was still there (I have put much of my weight back on and hadn’t showered – no, that sight did not need to be seen). Carl got to meet Andy Carson and Uncle Ricoh from KPTV (who were very nice and took time to talk to us even though their work day was over.) Carl and I stayed and bought a delicious breakfast and had a great morning.