Some days are like that. You swing from one emotion to the next. And then you stop and take stock and realize there are lessons to be learned.
Last Saturday was one of those. It was Indie Bookstore Day, and I was fortunate to be a guest bookseller for a few hours at my favorite indie, Country Bookshelf in Bozeman. It’s a job I love – picking out the right book and putting it into the hands of an eager and grateful reader. And it doesn’t hurt that the folks who work at Country Bookshelf are simply the best.
Last Saturday was also the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s birthday, and if you are a writer and haven’t been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that my friend Kirby Larson started a global event called #MoreforAKR, which celebrated Amy’s extraordinarily giving and way-too-short life with acts of kindness and generosity. Here in Bozeman, the Library hosted a “Beckoning of Lovely” – one of Amy’s signature events. You can watch her initial event here:
It was sweet, sad, joyous, and felt remarkably good. We had met Amy, who was a prolific author of many acclaimed children’s books, when she came to Bozeman for the Library’s Children’s Festival of the Book in 2014, so her passing was truly personal and this celebration was, too. Country Bookshelf contributed a ton of books, which at the end of the event we packaged and left for people to find around town.
Only a week earlier, our area lost another remarkable author, William “Gatz” Hjortsberg. Not only was he an incredibly talented writer, he was one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. His huge heart had room for everyone. When he walked into a party everyone lit up with joy. And, boy, could he tell a story.
They were each, in their own way, Amy and Gatz, people who gave life their all.
When we parted from the Library’s Gathering, librarian Cindy Christin handed each of us this card. I’m keeping mine on my desk, where I will look at it every day. It’ll remind me of Gatz, and Amy, and what truly matters.
Wishing you a host of Lovely.