Rare find

Kicking around the local area this weekend, we stumbled on a strawberry festival, which was less festival and more church parking lot where one could buy berries by the pint & country ham sandwiches, and watch the local jump rope team (whoever heard of such a thing?) entangle themselves in their ropes to music.

But there was something quaint and homey about the whole thing. A couple church members turned hot dogs on the grill and a quartet played bluegrass beside the neighbor’s house. A little girl barely in the double digits peddled face painting from her card table. The kids loved that, especially Hadley the Barbarian who promptly licked off the bonus artwork painted on her arm.

While the Barbarian polished off her paint, I pawed through the stack of used books for sale, most of which appeared either retired or permanently borrowed from a high school library. Books are my true weakness — if I were on welfare, I’d probably blow the kids’ milk money at Border’s.

So despite slim pickings I found a way to fill a shopping bag for 50 cents. Among my purchases, a 1924 edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The House of the Seven Gables.” It’s not Ebay-worthy, but a nice addition to the book shelf.

For kicks I also scooped up this battered copy of “Lassie.” It looks like a dog chewed on the spine, but I love the 1950s illustrations.