Remember when I announced that I’m opening Nowhere Bookshop and I said that if it does well then I want to buy a bookmobile so that I can take it to book deserts and pick up authors and adoptable cats and do readings in fields? That was all inspired by my bookmobile that came to our tiny town twice a month. Walking from my house to the bookmobile is literally the first memory I have and I can still smell the inside of it and feel the giant book bags we’d stuff as full as we could and remember the excitement that came when we’d see it in our neighborhood. The way I assume that city kids feel when they hear the ice cream truck is how I felt with that bookmobile.
My sister and I have searched for our old bookmobile but it disappeared a long time ago. The last trace we could find was when it was loaned to the school after their library burned down, but after that the library decided it wouldn’t be replaced. That was over a decade ago. Then the trail went cold.
The day I published the post about the Nowhere Bookshop and the bookmobile my parents were driving through town and my mom was like, “TURN AROUND, I JUST SAW A GHOST.”
And it was.
Y’all. It was our bookmobile.
Have you ever felt simultaneously ecstatic and terrifically sad all at the same time?
It’s in terrible shape. It’s over 50 years old. It’s gutted on the inside. But I still wanted it even though I have no place to put it and no money to restore it and I need to be focused on starting the bookstore first. But the heart wants what it wants and I wanted to save my first real friend.
My dad did some snooping and found out that The San Angelo Museum of Fine Art owns it now. (The same one I worked at in college, which just shows you how small our little part of Texas is.) They considered my offer to take it off their hands but they want to rebuild it and use it the way it once was. And I was disappointed, but honestly also relieved because it probably belongs there, with people who can love it and bring it back to its former glory.
And they said that if they don’t end up restoring it I will be first on their list to have it, and that’s really nice. Either way, it’s found and it’s not being cannibalized for parts. And no matter what, it’s going nowhere.
PS. We still don’t know where Nowhere will end up but we have a good lead on a San Antonio location but it needs a lot of work so keep all your fingers crossed.