Sometimes you can find the coolest things in the oddest places.
I’m not saying that Books A Million is odd, by any means.
But on my last visit, I found an “old friend.”
It came in a paperboard box with plastic spirals, different colored pens and paper. You could make all sorts of designs in various shapes and sizes.
When I needed more paper, I used a composition book. That didn’t make mom too happy, but at least I had found something to occupy my time and keep me quiet.
I didn’t find it in the game section.
Instead, I stumbled across it on a table near the register.
It was nestled among numerous novelty items that definitely stirred memories in this brain that sometimes forgets to function properly. There was a Lite-Brite, a miniature arcade game (the name escapes me) and other cool things that almost certainly revived this old kid’s heart.
Good old, Spirograph.
It was encased in a bright red tin about the same size as an iPad.
I flipped it over to see those ever-familiar colorful designs. Enclosed were the spirals, two bright-colored pens and some paper.
The debate on purchasing it never arose.
I slipped it underneath my arm and continued browsing the store.
While BAM is stacked with shelves of fiction and non-fiction books, I do have to admit I was disappointed with its history section. Most of you who know me are aware that I can get lost in time while reading about the Revolutionary and Civil wars, WWII, battleships — well, the “good” US history that I grew up studying.
I have a Civil War coffee table book that I picked up for half price at Fort Fisher a few years ago. I’m sure none of you care about that, but it’s a pretty good read on a rainy day.
I kept walking around BAM.
Nothing else caught my attention.
As I walked to the register, I flipped my old friend over and looked for the barcode. I didn’t see a price listed underneath it.
On this day, money didn’t matter.
I slid it underneath the plastic window that separated me and the cashier. The scanner beeped and she did a double take.
“Where did you find this?” she asked.
I pointed to the table.
“I never knew that was there,” she said.
Seconds later, she bagged the treasure and wished me a good day.
I’ve yet to open it.
Guess I’m waiting for that rainy day.
Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.