AND SOME FREE–ASSOCIATION
"You shall not harm Harry Potter!" — Dobby, the House Elf
I HAVE a friend who is recovering from back surgery and as a means of passing the time, she's been listening to audio books. We were on the subject of reading aloud because she'd read my post about Paul buying all the Winnie the Pooh books and reading them to me. (I still have to pinch myself that he did that.)
My friend considers being read aloud as the ultimate luxury and asked me if Paul had used different voices for the various WTP characters: Pooh, Piglet, Christopher Robin, Owl, Eyore, Rabbit, Tigger, Kanga and Baby Roo.
And of course that's made it impossible for me to listen to Winnie the Pooh audio books; the voices are all wrong! The only way I'm ever going to be able hear those stories again is if he either reads them out loud to me again in person or records them. Maybe I'll ask for that for Christmas: audio books by Paul.
Our conversation jogged my memory. I'd forgotten about the time i read Paul back to Iowa.
I love the Northwoods, and for a number of years Paul and I would spend at least a week of our summer in the far northern reaches of Wisconsin or Minnesota. Not surprisingly, the cabins where we stayed didn't have TV (and sometimes no indoor plumbing) so we’d bring along books to read.
Inevitably there was a fireplace, though, and every night Paul would build a fire . . . whether we needed one or not; it was after all summer . . . and if we weren’t on a late night canoe paddle or dock sit, we’d read next to the fireplace.
One trip was during the Harry Potter era, and I brought one of the books in the series along as my selection. After a few days, Paul had finished what he’d brought to read, leaving just the one Harry Potter book between us — which I'd already gotten a ways into — but I started over from the beginning, and every night I read it aloud.
But then we finished it. The next day I suggested we drive into town to see what else we could scare up in the way of books. We were in luck. Although it wasn't a big town, there was a book store, and it offered the next book in the Harry Potter series for sale. We snatched it up, and I read it aloud for the remaining night or two.
We loved our Northwoods stay as always, but it was over, and time to pack up and make the long trip home. Paul was very, unusually quiet as we began the drive. Finally he spilled the beans. He was just so sad to leave!
I didn't want him to be sad, so I got out the second Harry Potter book, the one we’d bought while we were there, and read it to him all the way home. It was midnight by the time we were back, I was hoarse, and I’d read the entire book to him.
Paul tells me that it's one of his favorite memories . . . being read to all the way home so he wouldn't be sad. It's funny, though. Just like me and all the Winnie the Pooh characters, Paul got so used to the way my version of Dobby, the House Elf sounds that he can't watch the movies; they've got Dobby all wrong!
Paul Bridson and Kelly Sargent
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