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Longboat Key Wednesday, May. 20, 2009 8 years ago

Closet Bookworms

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Behind every good man is a woman, or so the saying goes. But at the Longboat Library, that statement could be reversed.

Sure, the women are the ones you’ll see at the checkout desk or behind the tables of a book sale. But, behind the scenes, there are a few good men who help out the library in times of need.

They call themselves “recruits,” “drafts” and even “second-class citizens.” They answer whenever duty calls — and those calls usually come from their wives.

Take Bob Geraci, whose wife, Pat, is president of the Longboat Library. He made the card-file box, played the clarinet at a picnic last year and helped out with the November book sale. Oh, and he also climbed a ladder to reset the clock for daylight-saving time.

“Nobody else would do it,” he said.

“When you become president, your spouse pretty much becomes a part of it,” Pat Geraci said.

Bob Steskal and Jack McMahon, whose wives are past presidents, can attest to that. Both have helped out with odd jobs around the library.

But the first husbands of the library aren’t the only ones lending a hand.

Brad Godfrey mends books and trained at least three other volunteers how to do so. Jack Nolan helped with fundraising and made artwork for events. Dick Hassel helped out with the November book sale. Pete Roth put his engineering background to use when the sprinkler system malfunctioned. Ira Barash has helped out with various odd jobs, such as fixing the wheels on the book cart. And there is one official male volunteer, Sean Rea, who works at the library and also brings old books to Goodwill.

The guys weren’t around for the library’s annual luncheon April 4, when Pat Geraci thanked them for all their hard work. But that was ok with them — they’re comfortable behind the scenes.

“There’s management and there’s labor,” Steskal said. “We’re labor.”

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