Ojibway author Richard Wasagame found salvation in stories and help in libraries

Excerpt from Globe and Mail obituary article, Saturday March 25, 2017 by Marsha Lederman.         In St. Catharines, Mr. Wagamese, looking for shelter, followed people into a building. It was a library – and there he found a quiet, warm haven. And he found books. He would stack them into a mountainous L-shape surrounding him, worried he might be asked to leave. Mr. Wagamese had a Grade 9 education but what he learned at the library was staggering. He carried a notebook and would jot down things he heard that sounded interesting. Then he would ask the librarians for books on those subjects: astronomy, geometry, music. At a bar one night, he heard people discussing James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. The notoriously difficult book was his next library choice. Unlike many before him, he didn’t give up. He bought his own copy. It took him months to finish it. One day, a brown bag showed up on his desk. Mr. Wagamese didn’t touch it for hours, afraid he might be accused of stealing what was inside. Finally, he looked. There was a muffin and a sandwich – a gift from the librarian. She introduced him to the listening room. There he heard Beethoven for the first time. And she took him out, to a performance. “He actually taped up his shoes with duct tape to look a little more put together,” Ms. Lehmann says. “He was so afraid to go in there because he wasn’t dressed properly. She said don’t worry about that; just close your eyes and don’t look at the people; just hear the music.” When Mr. Wagamese told that story at an event at the Victoria Native Friendship Society last year, many in the audience wept.  For whole article click here

About READ Rosemount

Rosemount Expansion And Development Group (READ) is advocating for expanding and redeveloping Rosemount Library. Richard Van Loon chairs the committee.

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