Dear Editor,

Fair Warning (to) Library patrons–scary copier. With $1 in my wallet I headed to the bank Saturday. Oops, I had just remembered the library in Imlay City closes at 3 p.m. I better swing by there first. It’s almost closing time.

Once inside I came face to face with a big, beautiful black machine I did not recognize. No! Not a new copier. Again?

My heart started to pound. I’d barely learned the old one well enough to go solo.

As it stared back at me, I knew better than to push even one button. It might set off an alarm or malfunction.

Employees out front were busy, so I stared into the office at a woman clearly busy, but she must have sensed my fear. She came to help.

Push this button and then this she said and voila. Couldn’t be easier.

When the first copy of the yellowed with age –decades old newspaper clipping of my late Dad was spit out–surprise! It was yellowed and dingy. A perfect copy. Ewww.

In years past, my clippings came out bright white with black print. This was progress?

With five copies in hand and off to the counter I pulled my dollar out to pay the fifty cents and give a bit to the tip jar.

“That’ll be five dollars,” the young woman said.

“What? That can’t be,” I said in my sometimes prickly tone.

She explained they were color copies–a buck a piece. I didn’t want color, especially dingy yellowed copies. She said I must have hit the color button.

“No” I said, “I would never push an unauthorized button by myself.” By now I’ve drawn the attention of another employee who said the copier auto adjusts and the machine assumed I ordered dingy. No button push needed.

One said they could hold my copies until Monday. No. I couldn’t come in Monday.

The women were so kind–beyond my expectations. One reached into the tip jar and paid my outstanding bill of $4.

FYI. The library doesn’t accept cards– cash or check only. I know that because a patron a few minutes ahead of me had only $1 on him. True story.

Even though I didn’t push the color only button, I will make good on the $4–not Monday but I will gladly pay Tuesday for copies today.

Thank you Ruth Hughes Memorial Library ladies for your help and generosity. You’d make her proud.

— Bernie Burgess Hillman
Imlay City