June 27, 2014


Amy says . . .

This morning we headed to Leawood, Kansas, and the home of Spencer, the boy who has become famous these last 2 weeks for his Little Free Library, which was flagged and "incarcerated" by the town council members who enforced a law regarding detached structures and asked his family to remove it from their front yard. Spencer fought back and in a few weeks the council will most likely vote on a moratorium that would allow Spencer to free his library from the garage and put it back in the yard for people to enjoy once again.

Spencer and his mom came out to meet us when we pulled in front of their house. He was holding a creased and folded piece of paper. He held it out to me and when I asked if I could open it, he nodded. Spencer had made us one of his Wordtoons and there was a ten dollar bill taped to the page. I looked up at him and he said, "That's to help you build more Little Free Libraries." I burst into happy tears and hugged him tight. 

It's hard to put my feelings about meeting Spencer into words. He told us about the original letter from the town council and about how he wanted to know why the law existed before he put his library in the garage. He told us about the media frenzy and the TODAY Show calling and the news crew that called at 10 PM way after he was asleep. But he also told us how much he loves soccer and the World Cup, he showed us more of the cartoons he drew, and he introduced us to his sweet dog, Queenie. When he found out we didn't have air conditioning in Maude he ran to get us his own $5 Sonic gift card  - so that when it got hot we could stop and get one of his favorites, a Banana Shake or a Strawberry Slush.

He's nine years old. He was thoughtful and articulate and silly and full of energy. He was kind and generous and compassionate. This Little Free Library adventure is just one of the many Spencer is going to have in his life, but his adventures are going to change the world. I can feel it in my bones.


Maya says:

In no particular order:

• the sunrise out the window of the Super 8 in Macon, Missouri, and the feeling of bigness in the air; 
• cinnamon pull-aparts and strong coffee from Hardees, the rush of sugar and caffeine fueling the 2-hour drive on Route 36 into Leawood, KS, and a very special visit with a 9-year-old boy who gave us a view of the world we hadn't yet seen; 
• on the verge of tears on his front lawn, his mother watching, how I realized that even if nothing else good happened on this trip, I would come home satisfied;
• ice-cold lemonade at Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence, Kansas, and Robin's hug, and talking about the magic of tiny books
• two poems on Massachusetts Avenue for a boy who watched, unbelieving, as we typed for him
• what his grandmother said about how he would never forget this moment
• finding route 70 again after a detour to Truckhenge
• the strange sadness of Topeka
• the oasis of watertowers
• Wilson, the Czech capital of Kansas
• green and sky and green and sky and a straight road and gusts of wind that swayed the trailer
• reading up on tornado preparedness and discovering that everything I thought I knew was wrong
• deciding to stop early, in Hays, KS
• the walk into town and the sounds of a baseball game nearby, stadium lights sparking behind a power plant
• discovering the social hotbeds that small-town brewing companies
• sleep and the thought of Boulder on Saturday, and Grace waiting for us on Iris Court, and everything else that we know and don't know is coming.