By Sally Gracie
Terry and Steve Dixon returned from their cross-country drive to Maryland last weekend, and at 10:30 a.m. on Monday Terry was back at her job as Twisp’s favorite librarian. Patrons greeted her with hugs and questions about her trip.
Terry’s stepmother, Juliana Day Franz, died on May 24, 2013. Many of you remember Juliana from her visits to the valley (and Twisp Library, where I met her) over the years. In Maryland, she had a distinguished professional career, working as a psychiatrist at the National Institutes of Health and for the Montgomery County and Washington County health departments. Dr. Franz was 94.
Juliana’s memorial was Steve and Terry’s main purpose for returning to Garrett Park. As the service for her stepmother began at 4 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 3, Terry told me she was also thinking about Vicky Welch, whose memorial was beginning at the Twisp Park at the same hour.
The Garret Park Town Hall, where the Franz service was held, was – on a happier occasion – the setting for Steve and Terry’s wedding 35 years ago.
“She was the only mother I ever knew,” Terry says, and the house where Juliana died was the only “home.” Terry and Steve spent considerable time beginning to clear out the house while there.
Siblings Peter and Sarah Dixon began the 2,500-mile road trip with their parents. Their destination was Iowa, where they completed the week-long RAGBRAI bicycle tour across the state from Council Bluffs to Fort Madison. Sans bikes and kids, Terry and Steve went on to Maryland, camping some nights and staying in motels on others.
On the way back they made a point to visit Grand Marais, a small town in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Ever the reader, Terry wanted to find the diner owned by novelist Ellen Airgood, whose book, South of Superior, she had read and enjoyed. She and Steve not only found the diner, and enjoyed an ice cream cone while talking with the novelist, but also found that Steve and Airgood had friends in common from earlier U.S. Forest Service days in Washington. Terry bought Airgood’s new juvenile fiction novel, Prairie Evers. She recommends both books to library patrons.
On to Eureka, Mont., where they visited Ray and Tammie Ellis, whom many of you remember.
Back at Twisp Library, Terry is busy preparing for the final days of the “Dig Into Reading” summer reading program. Children are invited to attend the Mud Pie Party on Tuesday (Aug. 27), for stories and crafts – making edible “mud pies.” Until school starts, young readers in the summer program still have lots of prizes to choose from.
Donations for the annual Labor Day Book Sale are wanted (and actually needed this time). Please leave boxes at the foot of the stage in the gym beginning on Monday (Aug. 26). The sale hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 31. Volunteers to help with cleanup will be welcome.
Bibliophiles may want to stop in the library on Aug. 29 from 3-7 p.m. to look through more books from Bill Biddle’s library. All titles will be priced from $2 to $10. Sales from these books will be divided between the Twisp and Winthrop libraries.