On Friday, shortly after I arrived for work, the entire staff fled the building once again for lunch. This is usually when the floodgates of people phoning to speak to either of our librarians occurs, but no such calls came through. Instead, Birthday Lady phoned to ask the date of birth of recently deceased actress Betty Hutton.
I must confess, before today I'd never even heard of Betty Hutton. But I Googled her up and found a Wikipedia entry for her. She was born February 26, 1921 and passed on March 11, 2007. I gave this information to Birthday Lady. She dutifully repeated the information back to me to make sure she had it spelled right in her scrapbook of obituaries for famous celebrities known only to people born before 1972.
"I phoned earlier, but I suppose the girl I spoke to didn't get a chance to call me back," Birthday Lady said. Then she added, "I keep up with the older actresses—not these they got today."
"Ah," I said.
"I think the older actresses were better, really."
"Probably so," I said.
After I hung up the phone, I noticed that someone had already written Betty Hutton's pertinent dates on a piece of scrap paper, along with Birthday Lady's real name and phone number. Once the staff returned from lunch, I learned that they actually had attempted to return her call several times, but it always just rang and rang and rang.
"She was probably on the phone, trying to get the information from a competing library," I suggested.
It's good to know Birthday Lady's contact information, though. Puts me in a mind to phone her up and ask if I could see her scrapbook.