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Outing with librarians is on-target for this writer

Susan Manzke
Susan’s successful throw, almost a bulls eye.

Not long ago, I began volunteering shelving books again at the Muehl Public Library in Seymour. I hadn’t worked there for months, not since Bob’s cancer returned last December. It was good to get back to work again.

Our library has always been a special place for me. If you haven’t been in a library lately you might be surprised that it’s a lot more than books: videos, audiobooks, computer stations, puzzles, story times, and much more. Along with things, the wonderful librarians are there to assist patrons, all you have to do is ask or look confused and they are there to help.

Recently I was included in a celebration for all the workers at the Muehl Public Library. I was honored to be included in this event.

Now you may wonder what librarians do for fun. What kind of quiet activities would we do together? Sit and read quietly together? Play Charades? Or do a whisper telephone game?

The librarians I know are not especially quiet. They are excited about books and things and life in general. The Library Celebration we participated in was ax throwing.

You did not misunderstand me. I said ax throwing.

I was one of fourteen participants—eight women and six men (spouses).

At first, I was leery. Could I actually throw an ax? Would I hit the target? Would I hit the wall?

Deb Court and Elizabeth Timmins (our library director) showing 2 different ways to hold and throw an ax.

A staff member at Green Bay Escape & Axe (2180 Ridge Road, Green Bay) gave instructions on how to throw the axes and also about safety measures we should take, and then we were on our own.

We had practice throws before actually starting our game. I found out that a person could throw one-handed or two-handed. I tried one-handed first.

I’m right-handed so I hefted an ax—one of three per turn—and swung it a little at my side. Then, after taking a deep breath, I threw it down my lane (there are 5 lanes) toward the target. And it hit the wall. I didn’t say it hit the target, but it made it all the way to the wall before falling to the floor.

I threw another one-handed. This time was a bit better, but still no target. My third throw I took the ax in both my hands, raised it above my head, and threw. IT STUCK IN THE TARGET!

I would have gotten one point for that throw if this wasn’t warm-up, but I was happy to have some kind of success—I had images of me not being able to even hit the wall.

My second warm-up throws went even better. I hit the target with two axes.

Eventually, the game started. We divided up into three teams. Each team had both men and women. Scoring was easy, count only when an ax sticks to the circular target. If you knock a stuck ax out, it doesn’t count. Each ring had numbers assigned. If your ax hit a black ring, your score was the higher of the two numbers.

Just like my warm-up, I had a great run—NOT! Like in bowling, my warm-up was better than my actual game. At least, I did hit the target twice and earned six points for my team. (No goose egg for me, Elizabeth.)

Our group of librarians and spouses had a fun evening. I don’t know what wore me out more, the ax-throwing or the laughs we shared. No matter, I’ve already talked with family members to gather to throw axes in the future.

Susan throwing an ax with two hands.

For now, my family wants me to refrain from outings that could expose me to the nasty virus that’s going around. “You know, Mom, your age makes you part of the high-risk category.” Like I have to be reminded that I’m getting old.

Libraries may take a hiatus this month, but they won’t be gone forever. We need libraries and librarians. We’re a crazy crowd.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog.