Miss Mattie

My parents told me about an article in my hometown newspaper on Miss Mattie. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi named her an Ageless Hero. She has worked in the children’s section of the library since just before I was born. Prior to working there, she had her own kindergarten. I have wished for over twenty years that I could have gone to her kindergarten.

I did have the pleasure of regularly attending her story hours at the library. We sang along with her and her autoharp. She told stories and put on puppet shows. Her friend Scooter Mouse who lived in the library intrigued us with his motorcycle perched on a high ledge and a little ceiling light that let us know when he was in. We had snacks and got little favors. My sister and I both still have our pet rocks at home. I checked out books. Today I often stop by the neighborhood branch of my library.

I can imagine what her copy of the newspaper must look like, riddled with holes. She sent me clippings and congratulations when my name appeared in the paper even through college. She did the same for my sister and probably for dozens and dozens of children. She does wonderful things unprompted, and to her, everybody is somebody worthwhile and good.

I often visit the library on my more extended visits home. A couple of years ago, I met one of her former kindergarten pupils who now lives far away. He is older than I, and I had heard about him while growing up because he was well known around town. He had brought his children to meet her. Miss Mattie called him by his childhood nickname, and his children, bright and funny themselves, corrected her. She accepted their bossiness and immediately engaged them. They were real people with things to say.

5 Comments »

Michael M. on March 26th 2005 in General

5 Responses to “Miss Mattie”

  1. Lib M. responded on 17 Feb 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Miss Mattie cut out my engagement clipping and mailed it to Mama and Daddy with a lovely letter. I love your mention of what her newspaper must look like.

  2. Michael M. responded on 17 Feb 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    I am happy she sent a copy and a letter. Did Scooter sign it, too?

  3. Lib M. responded on 18 Feb 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Nope this letter was from “Your library friend, Miss Mattie.” My question is the same as yesterday – how many children have loved and been loved by Miss Mattie?

  4. Scott Harbison responded on 19 Aug 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Michael, a group of us are in the planning stages of putting together a tribute to Miss Mattie. We are considering commissioning a small bronze statue of her reading to children. This would then be dedicated and donated to the Pike County Library for the community and children to always remember her and Scooter Mouse! If you are interested in getting involved, we’d love to share the details with you. We believe thousands of children and adults have been touched by Miss Mattie and she is a true treasure to our communtiy.

  5. Michael M. responded on 20 Aug 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Please share more information about the tribute.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.