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FOL Spotlight Joe and Becky Stockwell
This issue of FOL spotlights Friends of the Library life members, Joe and Becky Stockwell. These two are right at home at the library, and Joe often passes along suggestions to Ginny Holtcamp for her consideration in selecting new books for the library. Joe grew up in New Roads, Louisiana. His undergraduate and masters degrees are from Tulane and his Ph.D. is from LSU. He taught a literary criticism course at Mississippi State, which he loved, through the magisterial T.S. Eliot, Restoration, 18th century literature, and 18th century novel. His favorite course was an English literature survey from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf.
Joe vividly remembers the students he had in class, many he has kept up with, and they were the ones who made his years at Mississippi State University memorable. One observation he shared was that his "A" students invariably patronized their local libraries during their teens.
He recommends that everyone living in Mississippi ought to read William Faulkner works. The Sound and the Fury is Joe's personal favorite. He would also recommend F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, which is far greater than the film versions.
Becky grew up in a family of readers in Columbus, Georgia, and here is where her love of books and libraries began. Majoring in history was a natural choice for a book lover with all those piles of thick tomes to pour over.
Her BA degree is from LaGrange College, her MA and Ph.D. degrees are from Mississippi State. She was a Fulbright scholar for a year in Vienna. She taught European History at Mississippi University for Women and her favorite course was "Medieval Women: Romance and Reality." She, along with Millie Moore from the English Department, did a romance and historical fact short program on the subject at this library and at the Columbus Library.
In retirement, Becky has read as much fiction as history. Recent favorites are Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief, Sarah Rose's For all the Tea in China, and Simon Winder's Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe and Germania: In wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History. She recommends for readers to read and savor all of the novels by Jane Austen and Dorothy Sayers, as well as Georges Simeno's Maigret novels.
Shifting from personal to pleasure, Becky's garden is her labor of love. Joe enjoys Becky letting him sit in it. His favorite flowers are: Gladiolas, Creeping Phlox and the Land Banks Rose. Becky enjoys whatever is in bloom. She has learned that the garden is always a work in progress, never finished. Their garden was on the SAAC Tour of Gardens and she has added quite a few things since the tour. Becky participates in SAAC activities and also volunteers at the Heritage Museum.
The two enjoy the beauty of flowers, the beauty of well written books, and the beauty of what is in store for the reader at the library. Thank you Joe and Becky for your support!
Exciting things are happening at the library! Each day there are many people taking advantage of services which are available. If you have not stopped by lately, we invite you to come in and check out a book or discover other ways you can access reading materials.
Did you know that Friends accepts memorial donations? In addition to your acknowledgement for the donation, the person you designate will receive notification of your gift. Donations may also be made and designated for a specific area of the library such as for the children or youth programs.
Thanks to all who have donated books for our monthly sales and have paid annual dues. Community use of the library is on the increase and your support allows us to help the library keep its collection current.
Catherine R. Boyd
Cup & Chaucer Cafe
The Cup and Chaucer Cafe will open in mid August with a series of four discussion sessions on modern short stories and poetry led by Dr. Nancy D. Hargrove. Short stories will include two or three of the following: Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find," Ernest Hemingway's "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," John Updike's "A & P," and Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" and "Ambush," the last two based on his Vietnam experience. Poems will include selections from the poetry of Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, and three contemporary poets, Billy Collins, Elizabeth Spires, and Sharon Olds.
All these works are very accessible and provide numerous and varied topics for discussion. For those who are afraid of poetry, please give these poems a try and you will see that there is nothing to fear and much to enjoy and learn from. All selections are available online, from the library, or from a local bookstore.