“Interesting People / Patrons”

By Don

How many people do you know? Let me ask it this way, how many do you know interesting things about?

At the Macon County Public Library, we have many interesting people walk through our doors. Sometimes I think I would like to get to know all of them, but that’s impossible. On a slow day in February, we may have as many as 400 people visit our library. On a busy day in the summertime, we have over 1000 visitors. And, since I am usually in the computer lab or staffing the reference desk, I interact with only a small fraction of them. Therefore, I have to take every opportunity I can to meet people and get to know them.

Book cover art for Look About by Hildegard SandhusenI was on my way to lunch when I received a reference call, Ms. Patron was on the line. After talking to her for a few minutes and after asking a few standard reference questions, I realized she was inquiring about photographs, poems, and books authored by Hildegard Sandhusen that we might have in our collection. I quickly found two books authored by Hildegard Sandhusen, “Look About” and “Little Journeys” and we had both of them in the stacks. Ms. Patron was happy I found the books.

While I was on the phone with Ms. Patron, I learned that she and Ms. Sandhusen were long time friends. I further learned that Ms. Sandhusen was a world-renowned photographer and writer. She had even been a freelance photographer for Life Magazine among other things.

I spent most of my lunch break, on the phone, getting to know these two women. After the phone call I pulled the two books from shelf and learned even more about Ms. Sandhusen. As I read about her life on the back cover of one of the books, I discovered that she was born in Germany. Despite her father’s desire for her to become a dentist, she followed her passion and became a photographer. She began as an apprentice, and within a short period of time advanced to become a photo journalist for a group of German magazines.

After reaching the top rank of photographers in Europe, she moved to America, fulfilling a lifelong dream. She was a photographer in New York and, as I mentioned, shot freelance for Life Magazine. Later she shot aerial photography in Miami, Florida. In 1980 after visiting Macon County, she decided to move here, and has since called it home.

The book “Little Journeys” is a guide to Macon County, North Carolina. The book takes you to twenty-five sites that Ms. Sandhusen visited in her little journey, and is complete with photos and maps. The book has enough information to help guide you along on your own little journey. You may even choose to  follow the path that Ms. Sandhusen took on her discovery of our beautiful mountain area.

If you spend a little time getting to know the poeple you meet, you might be plesantly surprised. There are a lot of interesting people.

3 thoughts on ““Interesting People / Patrons”

  1. Don,
    I enjoyed reading your comments about interesting people at the library, especially Hildegard, whose house I have visited and with whom I used to do business (in another life). Thanks!


  2. Don, well done article. I’m a big fan of Hildegard’s work, too. I just bought these two books as gifts last week. Synchronicity. 🙂



  3. Thanks for writing about Ms. Sandhusen, Don! She’s a cool lady. Just another reminder that we need to bring more attention to our local photographers and artists!


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