Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More than just Worldfamous Chili

Hatch, New Mexico is, of course, the chili capitol of the world. But I had a sneaky suspicion there was more. So when highway 26 deadended at the center of town instead of going right the way everybody ELSE was going I went left. A few blocks later the library hoved into view.

Always in need of reading matter, I strolled in to see what they have to offer. I was surprised at how comfy the place is. I'm not sure if it's the light or what, but there's a Wilkommen air to the place.
Ms. Lisa Neal - Librarian Extraordinaire

Lisa Neal greeted me from behind the counter and met my inquiry about books for sale with an enthusiastic "Yes!" When I told her my interests she took me to the back room. There, sequestered, while awaiting disposition, were the textbooks. I mentioned anthropology and she surprised me by pointing to three anthologies...which I bought.

Later, at a table where a large coffee-table book on Guagan provided cover for my eavesdropping. Over the next thirty  minutes she listened to a patron's difficulties with her teenage son (and gave advice on the benefits of a rollcage). She helped several youngsters find materials for a research paper for school while accepting returns and issuing a library card. During this time a lively discussion was going on between two patrons about the politics of the community volley ball teams. The place is the hub of the town!

Intrigued, I began my interrogation about how she'd come to be all things to everyone. She allowed that having five children, several of which were now teenagers, helped hone her skills.

She was relatively new to the job having started in January of 2013 when she began by rearranging the entire place. In the 1920s it had been a warehouse with huge doors (recently refinished) that slide on metal tracks and a floor scale for weighing stuff.

The rearranging took advantage of the large windows so there's now enough natural light that you almost don't need artificial.

                     Eggbert slumming....sans hubcaps.

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