Friday, November 26, 2010

Mr. Mattson's Books

This morning when I came to work there was a long message on the answering machine from long-time Lucy's Books customer and supporter Dick Mattson. By itself that is unsurprising. He often leaves us long messages, with lists of books he wants us to find. Mr. Mattson is a lifetime resident of Warrenton, who I believe lives in the home, and on the land on which he grew up. He is one of my favorite customers, and one reason I am grateful for the job I have. Without it I might not know him. Curious and friendly, sharply and yet humbly intellectual, he always has kind words for and about my family, my service to him (he might not realize he serves me in immeasurable ways with his presence in my life here at Lucy's) and his kindness and wit extend of course to Brie, his other biggest fan here at Lucy's.

In the message Dick told me his home and book collection burned two nights ago. This alone is enough sadness for today, but I must explain the significance of his enormous book collection. I have mentioned his collection often to others, knowing that there is likely no collection like his anywhere. For years he has doggedly collected, with my help finding and acquiring titles (he does not use computers) a likely unrivaled collection of northwest and American history through the eyes of its most influential (and not necessarily most famous) figures. Dick is one of the most well-read, knowledgeable people on the history of this place and of the exploration and settling of the North American continent, and his obsessive collection of journals, first person accounts, biography, and history reflects his interest.

He said two very Mr. Mattson-like things in his message. He said he needs to start his collection over, and he mentioned he'd like to continue reading the book he had started the other night and would I order him another copy. Oh, and he said Happy Thanksgiving to Brie and I and our families.

I share all this with you because Lucy's would like to donate this year's holiday season percentage to replenish those parts of Dick's collection he chooses. We'll buy him what he needs at only cost so any money collected will line only his bookshelves. And we'd like to offer you the opportunity to donate what you can to this fine community member. Mr. Mattson quietly gives much to this community. I know that he and his sister spend lots of their free time buying and delivering untold pounds of food to our local food bank.

So in the spirit of the holidays, whatever they mean to you, I'm here to say that this is one good cause, and reason for sharing what we have this year. Peace this holiday season,

Laura & Brie

1 comment:

tapirgal said...

Oh boy. I saw the news story on FB. What you are doing is terrific. I don't know him, but I admire a person who loves and collects books like that! I wonder if I have any that would be useful. I'll get in touch or call me when you have a chance: (503) 338-8646. I was thinking of thinning out my collection and I might (or might not) have something if you could be more specific about what he might want. They would be for free.