Ron was up to his eyeballs in books that needed to be shipped last Friday (‘tis the season!) when someone called the shop with a book repair request. He said he would need to examine the book to give her a price, and asked what day she was planning to bring the book to the shop. “I’ll be there in half-an hour,” she said. Meanwhile, Ron dashed out to help our Mennonite neighbor off-load a few cords of firewood for our woodstove. Thirty minutes later, the lady with the distressed book called him again. She was lost. After giving her further detailed instructions to enhance her Mapquest info, it wasn’t long before she called a third time, saying she had arrived back where she started. Ron patiently guided her back toward the shop, asked her what she was driving, and assured her he would stand by the shoulder of the road to wave her down.
Sure enough, the nice lady named Debbie finally pulled in, bringing a cloth-bound book which contained the signatures of members and pastors of a local church since its formation in 1941. It was faded and worn, with torn cloth at the spine ready to fall off, loose pages and numerous cracks to the binding. The catch was that she refused to leave the book for repair, but insisted that she wait for the repair to be completed the same day. Ron was hesitant to dive into an unscheduled book repair, but rather than send someone away disappointed, he agreed to make time to do the work.
He finished preparing our books for shipment, and she patiently watched and listened while Ron completed an eight-step, five hour book repair. I say listened, because Ron can get pretty talkative on the subject of books if someone hangs around long enough. (It can get lonely in a book shop, and a good bookman doesn’t like to bother book browsers; a person waiting for glue to dry, on the other hand, is always fair game). Anyway, when I came home, the book was clamped, but Ron’s jaw was not, and we all had a good time chatting. I was going on with dinner preparations in the kitchen, but in order to peel potatoes, I simply had to have my little purple-handled knife which was nowhere to be found in the kitchen area.
This little “Ginzo” knife ping-pongs back and forth between the book repair table and the kitchen sink all the time because it is the best tool going for book mending, and also unrivaled for paring potatoes or apples. It has a very slender blade that can slide into narrow crevices, coax its way under old labels, peel away glue, and do just about anything of that sort better that any tool we’ve come across. The rivalry between Ron and me for possession of this knife did not go unnoticed. Through artful sharing, I did get the potatoes peeled, and Ron completed the book repair. Debbie left happy with a nicely refurbished book, and that (I thought) was the end of that.
Saturday, however, while out on an errand we received a cell phone call from the local Florist saying they were leaving a delivery at our front porch entryway. When we returned, I unwrapped a lovely floral Christmas centerpiece, which had a small flat package tied to the central candle. Guess what it was? Unfortunately, this ends the enjoyable age-long tussle over the lone Ginzo knife. On the other hand, the purple handled knife can now be permanently stationed at the book repair table, and I have a brand new paring knife for the kitchen! A nice note was included, thanking Ron for fitting the church’s book repair into his busy schedule.
We’d just like to say THANK YOU, to all our fine customers who have found their way to our door or website throughout the years. We do meet the nicest people!
P.S. – Someday I’ll tell you about the year Ron and I took up fencing, and I do mean the kind that involves swordplay…