Air date: April 19, 2012
Do you remember your school librarian? Mary Grimes has the job at Amelia Earhart Middle School. She started in 1967. Mitch Albom: And you have been here ever since? Mary: Right. Mitch Albom: You never had a desire to go try another school? Mary: No, I liked Amelia Earhart. So much so that when she got a pink slip after 40 years of service she still didn’t want to go. She was 90 years old. Mary: I got a letter from the board of education transferring me to Renaissance High to teach English. I haven’t taught English since the ’40s. LAUGHING Instead she remained at Earhart as a volunteer following her life’s purpose. Mary: I think that we need to teach the children to desire to read. At this point they watch too much television instead of reading. Mary Grimes had a simpler childhood. Born during World War I, she was raised on a farm in Ohio. Mary: We always went into town on Saturday’s — the family did — and I always went to the library. And I also remember that my parents let me eat my meal, dinner fast and go to the living room and sit down and read. I remember that. At 96, Mary needs someone to drive her to and from school but she comes nearly everyday and works with other volunteers to keep the shelves stocked with precious books. Mitch Albom: You could have retired 20 years ago. Why didn’t you? Mary: I wanted to be in the library, I wanted to encourage students to read, I wanted to keep this going and I sure didn’t want to sit at home. LAUGHING Offering nearly a century of her love for literature, Mary Grimes keeps the good pages turning inside The Heart of Detroit.