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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: March 29, 2020      Views: 137

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 ABOUT
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN 

I write what I think-feel-believe.
Every essay, poem, and tale tells a story.
message dictates style.
I write about what's happening in the world.
I consider my writing more "expressive" than "artistic."


He is a top ranked author at the #10 position.

He is an accomplished poet and is currently at the #84 spot on this years rankings.

He is also an active reviewer and is holding the #37 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Loving the rolling library (463 words)
"The Bookmobile" by Robert Zimmerman



I grew up in a tiny village of 500 in the mountains of Appalachia. The village didn’t have a library; there wasn’t one for miles.


We could only receive one TV channel in 1958. It signed on at 4:00PM and signed off at 11:00PM.  When signing off, the station broadcast a film of an Air Force fighter plane accompanied by a recitation of the poem “High Flight.” I recited the poem, “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth…” along with the narrator. 

I wanted to learn more about “High Flight” and other poems, so I asked my grandma how I could get a book containing that poem.  She told me a library in a city twenty miles away would start sending a Bookmobile to our town.

One Thursday afternoon, it happened. That big, ugly brown bookmobile was sitting in the main square. When I saw it, my breathing raced faster than a greyhound. That big ugly brown van looked beautiful to me.

I stepped into the diesel-powered Xanadu and time stood still. Holy Cow! They filled it to the top, with volumes I could take home to read.  My eyes scanned every shelf until I saw it. There was the magic sign: “SCIENCE FICTION.”   I felt light-headed and thought I might pass out walking ten feet to the section. I staggered to the shelf and touched the spines of some books. Euphoria swept over my being. The Avalon Science Fiction Books called to me.

"Aliens From Space”, “Conquest Of Earth”, “Outlaws of Mars”, “The Tower of Zanid”, and many more titles jumped out at me. One grabbed my attention more than the others.  The picture on the cover showed a frightened jet pilot and a pink egg.  “The Space Egg” was written by Russ Winterbotham.  This would be my first read.  “Conquest of Life” and “The Dark Destroyers” were my other picks.  My goal was to read all of them in a week. With all three books under my arm, I galloped home.

That evening I sat in my tiny room with a single light on as the journey took me from my room into a cockpit. For hours, I lived in the book with the pilot as his world changed after encountering the Space Egg. 

I read all the Avalon Science Fiction books that the Bookmobile offered in one year. The books inspired me and encouraged me to write something someday.  Within weeks, of reading my first selections, I began writing stories and poems. It all started with a diesel leaking, smelly bookmobile over 60 years ago and the Avalon Science Fiction collection. 

A short time after discovering the magic contained in the bookmobile, my grandfather gave me a set of The Harvard Classics. They remain in my possession today.

 

The Appeal of Books contest entry
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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