Tuesday, June 24, 2008
by Shirley Bahlmann
After filling my water bottle, I walked back to my book booth at the Mormon Miracle Pageant and saw the back of a lady who was looking at books. I don't know how old she was, but she's been on earth longer than me. She was a petite thing, just over five feet tall, and her gray hair was rolled up all over her head in cheerful yellow curlers.
"Hello," I said.
She turned and looked up at me with the roundest, bluest eyes I'd ever seen. Although she had a few lines around her mouth and the corners of her eyes, she had the smoothest, pinkest cheeks of any grandma I'd ever seen.
"Hello," she answered. She held up one of my books. "This looks so interesting." Then she lowered the book and thumbed her check book with her other hand. "I've only got one check until I get home, though," she explained, her eyes tight with worry. She turned my book over and read the back again. "It looks so interesting."
"A lot of people said they've enjoyed it," I said.
"Is there any other place I could get it later?" she asked, turning it over to read the back again, reluctant to put it down.
"Yes, but it won't be at the sale price."
"I see." Her yellow curlers bobbed as she nodded, and I could see a disappointed little girl inside the wrinkles.
"But I'll tell you what I'll do," I said. "You can take the book now and mail me the money later."
Her eyes flew up to my face. "Really?" she asked. "You would trust me?"
I smiled at her eagerness. "Of course," I said. "Anyone who loves books is trustworthy."
So I gave her a card. She insisted on writing her address and phone number down in my planner for me. Then she held the book in the crook of her arm and walked away, turning back once to wave before her yellow curlers and sparkling blue eyes disappeared behind a partition.
Her check arrived yesterday. As I said, she is a book lover, and book lovers are some of the most trustworthy people I've ever met.