Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Friday, October 16, 2009

I met a writer in person today, and it was an awe-inspiring experience!

I met Nan Hawthorne in person for the first time today, and I was absolutely amazed at the experience.  It took me a while to get to the place where she had some artwork exhibited, and one of them was a lovely creation she'd crocheted out of various purple and "blue-family" yarns.  She is really a talented woman, and has lots of interesting ideas.  I wish I could get her with my other writing friends.  I think they would all hit it off very well.  Besides, she, and one of the other writing friends, likes cats.  Nan has four of them.  It's funny how writers, anthropologists(and a lot of people who "do" prehistoric humans), seem to mostly like cats.  Don't ask me why.  I like cats, too.  Of course, I also like My Beloved Wolves, but I wouldn't keep a wolf in a house.  The wolf would be unhappy.  But that is another story entirely.  Anyway, I have a feeling my other writing friends would like Nan.  I sure do.  We're on the same page about a lot of things.  We will, of course, have to find a way to meet more often.  Don't ask me how, don't ask me when, but it's going to happen!  Oh, and the meeting also gave me a frame for my upcoming Seattle City Council speech on behalf of funding for the Seattle Public Library.  You see, Nan Hawthorne has "low vision", and this exhibit and meeting was in the Seattle Public LIbrary's Talking Books outlet, a nice place once you find it.  But that, too, is another story.  I'll probably end up blogging about that, too!  Stay tuned.!

Anne G

14 comments:

Nan Hawthorne, Shield-wall Books said...

That's me, all right... awe-inspiring! It was a rare treat to meet Anne too.. what a creative woman!

That Talking Book and Braille Library is no lonnger part of Seattle Public Library. It's a state thing now. But I have tons to say about the library for the blind, like whym when it was part of SPL it was segregated from the rest of the library? I decry the ghettoization of people with disabilities. In some cases you do need different services, but I never understood why a library should be one of them.

Anne, you should tell the folks what art you saw! And about meeting Janet!

Anne Gilbert said...

Nan, you could say it's still sort of segregated, since it's kind of "out of the way" and under the circumstances, hard to get to. I don't think that's exactly right, either. Interestingly, though, it still has a sign up suggesting that it's part of the Seattle Public Library systerm. I think it's "semi-independent" rather than wholly-independent but you would know more about this than I do. In any case, I'm glad we had a chance to meet. It was great!

Nan Hawthorne, Shield-wall Books said...

I think it may be just that they haven't gotten a new sign.. I know all the employees became State employees witthin the past couple of years.

The sad thing is that the people there never made any bones about not wanting to be part of the downtown library. Even the director was candid about that. They would say things like we have to have storage for all these books (cassette) and our patrons don't come in to use our services. But then they built a beautiful new huge library downtown and yes their patrons did go in.. like last evening, to advisory council meetings, to volunteer. And think what they could do.. accessible computers etc. It's typical of the way our society sets people with disabilities apart. We're "special" which means "lesser" whether they want to admit it or not.

As you might guess, I have a lot to say about all this... and it isn't a them and us thing.. I think the "we" -- the library patrons - are passively accepting. Do you remember my blog posts about the new down loadable books? On That's All She Read.. "Seprarate But Unequal".

I appreciate that you see the discrepancy. It wouldn't even occur to most people.

Anne Gilbert said...

Nan:

This has actually occurred to me in various ways for some time. When I first started working out at the local YMCA, there was this fellow there that was also low vision, and everybody knew it because he had a really sweet guide dog and both of them were loved by all. Nobody treated the man like he was "impaired", but he told stories about people who did. This guy taught strength training classes, and could move around very well! And he had a computer. Also, I've met plenty of people, in my time working at a retail store, who had various "disabilities" but were perfectly capable people. So I'm under no illusions or misunderstandings. But a lot of people have a lot more trouble with this than many of us would suppose. The only cure for this is education! And I really think the Talking Books library ought to be integrated into the Seattle Public Library or some regional library. I'm sure a lot of people would use it, and there are employees who could certainly be trained. They're enormously helpful already!
Anne G

Nan Hawthorne, Shield-wall Books said...

What fuels prejudice is ignorance. As I look at the kids in my neighborhood I see how racial integration happened.. We got to know each other. Now how are we going to learn about each other if people don't share public facilities like libraries? Ask 20 people on the street how blind people read and how they use computers. Most will not know, and who's to blame them? The blind don't come into the same libraries they do.

Anne Gilbert said...

Nan:

I knew that blind people read or get information in various ways. For example I "always knew" that some blind people at least, read Braille. And then tha guy who does strength training at the Y listens to a lot of radio. You mentioned talking books a lot. But I wouldn't have known(exactly), how blind people use computers till I heard you and Janet talking about the various "enhancers" you use. I just supposed people in your situation did "something" but it never occurred to me what. If your mind is open, you learn to "live and learn". Most people's minds are at least partially open, and few people start out meaning ill ofr one another, so there's plenty of room for education, I think.
Anne G

Joansz said...

I'm so jealous that you have been able to meet Nan in person, Anne. I feel privileged to have met her on line.

But, I'd still love to see some of the art exhibit--anyone take some photos that they could share?

Anne Gilbert said...

Joan:

Sorry you're so jealous. It just so happens we both live in the Seattle area. If you come out here sometime, I really hope we can all get together(but not while I'm suffering from this wretched cold).
Anne G

Joansz said...

Since it's been ages since I've been to Seattle, I hope that I'm due for a visit. I'd love to be able to meet both you and Nan in the flesh!

Anne Gilbert said...

Joan:

If you can figure out a way to get out here, let us know, and maybe we can plan to get together. I would be absolutely thrilled!
Anne G

Nan Hawthorne, Shield-wall Books said...

Why not come up for the lighting of the Macy's Christmas Tree at Westlake Center?

Nan

Anne Gilbert said...

Nan, I'd certainly be willing to come then, and we could do something, even if Joan can't. Or maybe, if we get real lucky, she can.

Joansz said...

Seeing as how I just spent a wad on visiting some of the national parks of the southwest after the annual meeting for the Richard III Society, I will sadly have to pass this year. *But* there's always next year. Alternately, can I tempt you two to come to NYC? I know, pipe dream--but it is my favorite city. If only I could afford to live there--in style.

Anne Gilbert said...

Joan;

That's too bad. 'Cause the Macy's tree lighting is often truly spectacular, though the year I went, it rained and blew so they couldn't do the fireworks the way they planned, but the carols were nice and it was fun just the same. Oh well, like you said, there's always next year!