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Blue Highways, Leaves of Grass and the Parkdale Library I do not know what exactly I expected to see in the library that summer. Rows of gleaming shelves and neatly piled books, probably. No noise but the humming of fluorescent lighting and the thump of rubber stamps. The librarians will be demure types - soft-spoken and intellectual. I thought of the place itself as a sort of solemn temple to the written word. With those images in my mind, I was startled by my first glimpse of the workers' workroom. As it turns out, librarians read the Folks magazines until they go on screen, and complain to one another about bratty children that record via, and they abandon tacky bottles of Mountain Dew in the refrigerator. Such are the secret lives of the Men and Women who had to strike fear into the hearts of my second-grade classmates. For me, it had been a slightly jarring introduction to the working world. I was starting my first summer project, and, after hours, studying Blue Highways and considering journeys. William Least Heat Moon crossed the country over fifteen decades back, hammering Walt Whitman and "amassing the heads of men" (410). I was crossing a small threshold of reality, gathering observations on the behaviour of men. He turned his back to the trials of life and that I was watching its eccentricities; he was growing cynical and I am still completely obsolete. However to me in June 1999, our journeys looked almost identical. As Least Heat Moon studied Leaves of Grass, I studied this street journal and tried to follow its winding philosophy. This was the philosophy which came in useful - especially the parts which Least Heat Moon picked up in his way...