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Extra info for Beverly Cleary (Who Wrote That?)
Two days later she was hired to work in the children’s room and the adult department for $110 a month, a fortune to Beverly. She found a room at a local boardinghouse where all the other renters were men. They treated Beverly with affection, calling her the Widow after she wore a black dress, bringing her flowers, and taking her to a local swimming hole. The library staff members were equally warm and welcoming, as were the library patrons. Beverly adored the children of Yakima. ” 108 One group of “grubby” little boys came with their teacher, who could not interest them in reading.
In many other ways, however, I felt insecure. ” 88 The girls in Stebbins Hall were the usual assortment of young women attending college for the first time: “Tall, short, shy, ‘fast,’ brilliant, struggling, colorless, beautiful, neat, sloppy, confident, brokenhearted. . ” 89 Her new roommate, Miriam, was putting herself through college with a scholarship awarded each year to the student from Utah with the CALIFORNIA highest grade point average; she had won twice. Their rooms were inspected once a week, and Beverly and her roommate were expected to dust furniture, clean the bathroom, and vacuum the rugs.
Beverly found a job as a librarian at the army base in Oakland. ” 113 It wasn’t Beverly’s idea of a typical library. Soldiers played ping-pong nearby and jukeboxes shared the cement floors with bookshelves and uncomfortable tables and benches. Some of the men who worked night duty slept on the library’s couches. She talked to soldiers from all over the country; she met a bootlegger, professional gamblers, a convict, and lawyers. At that time, the army was segregated by race, but Beverly and her fellow librarian opened their library to all men.