“My name is Jug, J-U-G.” I glanced apprehensively past the dashboard trinkets and girlie calendar to the burly tattooed driver.
“When they called, they asked if I could haul a Bluebird bus.” Jug was no novice. “It’s not a Bluebird—it’s The Bookmobile!”
I was struggling to find common ground for conversation as we faced a two-hour trip back to Cambridge, when Jug offered the magic segue: “The only thing that’s worse to haul than the Bookmobile is the vehicle for the State correctional facilities!”
So began my assortment of lessons on towing services, customers, double clutching, and the adventures of a hardworking business owner and former repo man. I had thought it would be just another hot summer day on the bookmobile, but I never expected to return to Cambridge in a super-sized wrecker hauling our 13-ton bus.
Just last spring, the bookmobile hobbled back to Cambridge sporting a cracked block. Thankfully, this time we’re looking at something as minor as a starter that won’t start. I hope that’s all it is, because we have a job to do. The bookmobile is our way to provide library services to folks in remote areas, early readers in children’s groups, elderly folks no longer able to get around, and more. There is nothing like its services, and there is nothing like its adventures!
Yes, I had left Cambridge full of hope, prepared for eight hours on the road. Eagerly I started my audiocassette tape, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, determined to understand men by the time I returned to Cambridge. (I like a challenge!) Well, I never reached eight hours on the road, I still don’t understand men, but I did finish my tape—and “it was a good thing.” Little did I know that I’d be riding back to Cambridge entertained by stories from a guy named Jug. Using my newfound knowledge, I enjoyed the ride and conversation (as well as the obligatory quiet times, of course).
So, next time I venture out on the bookmobile, I’ll be shopping the shelves for an audiocassette tape on either diesel mechanics or a sequel to the Martians and Venusians. We never know what to expect on the bookmobile—apart from groups of eager readers who are always thrilled to see us. Can it get any better than that!?
Jackie Shaefer, Bookmobile Driver