In last night’s post I said I felt like Nancy Drew (for possibly having – with some major help, I hasten to add – solved a mystery about the Manse’s original ground-floor layout), but how can one think about Nancy Drew without also thinking of the Hardy Boys?
That’s just what reader Sash did. In a comment on that post, he brought back a flood of memories. “And speaking of Nancy Drew,” he said, “that takes me back to my childhood visits to the Madoc Public Library, where I loved borrowing mystery books. One of my childhood favourites was The House on the Cliff, with the Hardy Boys.”
Oh man. Suddenly in my mind’s eye I was standing before a floor-to-ceiling shelf of books in the young-adult section of the Madoc Public Library. It was perhaps 1969, and I was going through all the series written for kids my age: Nancy Drew, of course, but also the Hardy Boys, Cherry Ames (the nurse) and Vicki Barr (the stewardess). The Madoc Library was the wonderful place where all these books resided, and what a thrill it was to take home an armload every week! Sash, thank you for reminding me of that.
Since Raymond and I have moved to the Manse I’ve been in the Madoc Library a couple of times, but both times on flying visits to take advantage of the photocopier service, getting some documents copied in a mad rush (which is the way I do most things in life). I was in the building long enough to recognize that it was much changed from the Madoc Library of my youth at the Manse, but I hadn’t thought too much about it. Today, thanks to Sash’s comment, I made a bit of a pilgrimage to have a look round the place and see if there are any traces of the library I remember.
The bad news is: there aren’t. The building has been extensively renovated and enlarged, and I couldn’t even figure out where in the present layout that much-loved children’s section had been – or where the desk was where kindly librarian Mrs. Duffin sat, making sure the kids weren’t checking out any unseemly books from the adult section.
But the good news is: it’s a wonderful library! Bright and airy and comfortable, with a long row of computers for people to use, paintings on the walls, an archives (which I didn’t enter, but that will be a most enjoyable project for some rainy Saturday), and a cozy sitting area with easy chairs and even a fireplace.
It is a place for a small town like Madoc to be truly (and justifiably) proud of.
And while I confess I didn’t specifically check it out, I am willing to bet that somewhere on the shelves still lurks a copy of The House on the Cliff.