Ruth, May 28, 2011

Filene Center at Wolf Trap

Vienna, VA


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Ruth

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TR (ANNC): And now, from the hushed reading room of the Herndon County Library, we bring you: Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian.

SS: Washington D.C. A mecca for any librarian. Home of the National Archive. And the Library of Congress. The Holy City of Librarydom. I was there as the guest of the Assistant Chief Archivist of the United States, Mr. Bob W. Hobson.

GK: Glad to have you here, Miss Harrison. You county librarians are out there on the front lines. You're the shock troops of the library movement.

SS: Well, it's an amazing honor to meet you. It's inspiring to meet the man who is responsible for storing the Declaration of Independence under glass and the Gettysburg Address, written out in Lincoln's own hand. It must give you a thrill to be able to look at them every day.

GK: It gives me a huge headache, Miss Harrison. You want to see them?

SS: I saw them already. In their glass cases.

GK: The documents in the glass cases are not real. (SS GASP) We're showing edited facsimiles.

SS: Fakes at the National Archives? Why would you display fakes if you had the real ones available?

GK: Are you sure you want to know?

SS: A reference librarian, sir, always wants to know. Wanting to know is in our DNA.

GK: Come with me, I'll show you.

(BRIDGE)

(ECHOING FOOTSTEPS)

SS: My goodness. It's very dark down here.

GK: We keep it dark to protect the documents. Light fades them, you see. And here's the vault. (SEQUENCE OF KEYS IN LOCKS) It's relief it is to share this secret with another person.

SS: This is so exciting, Mr. Hobson.

(DRAWER ROLLS OUT)

GK: Call me Bob. Here they are. Here's a pair of linen gloves for you, Ruth.

SS: My, this is so exciting. Oh my gosh. The Gettysburg Address. (READS): "Fourscore and seven years ago-----hmmnahmmm---- this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men have sunshine on a cloudy day and when it's cold outside they have the month of May. Who can make me feel this way? My Girl. Oooooweee." Mr. Hobson!

GK: That's the place where, evidently, Mr. Lincoln broke into song. He sang the Ooooweeee in a rather high voice and people did not note nor long remember what he said there but they did remember what he sang there. And here's the Declaration of Independence. (DRAWER ROLLS OUT) "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and a wop bop a lubop a wop bam boom."

SS: What happened to the purfuit of happineff?

GK: They put that in later. That's the original. It's been tested by the national labs, and they're 100% certain of its authenticity.

SS: But the public has a right to know! The truth will set you free.

GK: And I believe that the truth is like a pack of wild dogs. They need to be kept on a leash. Ruth----- what are you doing?

SS: I'm going to make a wop bop a lubop a wop bam boom available to the public. Don't take another step toward me, sir, or I will eviscerate you with these scissors.

GK: Ruth, this country is in need of self-discipline, it's in need of structure, it needs leadership, it is not in need of a wop bop a lubop a wop bam boom.

SS: I'm taking this document out of the drawer. Don't try to stop me. (ALARM, KLAXON)

SS: What is that? Why are you putting on that gas mask? What is----- why—(GAS--- SHE FALLS, UNCONSCIOUS)------

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING)

TR (MUFFLED): Security. You okay, sir?

GK (MUFFLED): Fine.

TR (MUFFLED): I will remove the perpetrator.

GK (MUFFLED): I will replace the document in the drawer. (BRIDGE)

SS: I woke up in a hospital with a slight headache and an odd feeling of blankness. They said it was a seizure. I couldn't remember what happened. I got on a plane back to Herndon County. This song keeps going around in my head. And I remember going into a deep basement. Oh well. A sign of getting older, I guess.

(THEME)

TR (ANNC): This has been another exciting episode of: Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian.

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