One of the days I looked forward to in elementary school was RIF(Reading Is Fundamental) day.  For those of you unfamiliar with this wonderful program, it is a day when children are given the opportunity to select a book of their choice(out of what has been provided/donated), and then they get to take it for free.  Oh, the glory of a new book.  The smell of the pages is amazing.  The sense of discovery and the anticipation of a new world about to unfold.  I would choose carefully, not rushing like my classmates.  Reading the backs and looking for the one that leapt up and caught my imagination.

Yes, it’s true that RIF is responsable for what I refer to as my Barnes and Nobel “habit,” but it aslo brought me some early freinds, adventures and role models.  Most memorable(at least today), was Encyclopedia Brown.  What a great character, Sherlock Holmes in prepubecent form.  Who better to capture the mind of a young knowledge seeker whose physical abilities were not as great as the imagination trapped inside.  He made it (dare I say) cool to be smart(at least for me), using his mind to solve the problem.

It’s been an age or two since I last revisited his world, and I’ve since learned that brain and brawn are needed cooperatively for optimum efficency.  His presence for a young smallfry/egghead however, to learn that knowledge is a great tool, in my mind was definately, FUNdamental(oh, I know it’s a bad pun, but it is true).


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