by permission: Scott Burroughs / IllustrationOnLine.com
(Illustration which first accompanied "The Love Bus,"
an article in
NORTH SHORE magazine (Illinois), August 2006)
Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico:
Waukegan Public Library Donates Bookmobile
for Grand Isle
Arrival at JPL Headquarters
Public Library has generously donated a 32-foot-long bookmobile,
nicknamed “Gertie” (she’s a 1962 Gerstenslanger
vehicle) to Jefferson Parish Library for use at the Grand
Isle Library site, where she will join the Cybermobile on
loan from Muncie Public Library.
Gertie to Louisiana was a challenge. Because Gertie is over
40, she could not reliably be driven all the way from Waukegan,
Illinois, north of Chicago, to Grand Isle. Originally, the
plan was that she would be transported to us by rail car,
but the railroad company that originally volunteered to
bring her here decided that this would be too unsafe, delaying
Waukegan business owner Robert Trambino of Lake County Office
Equipment and the Friends of the Gail Borden Public Library
came to the rescue; and Gertie, loaded with donated books,
left Waukegan Public Library on St. Patrick’s Day
for Kenosha. There she was loaded onto a flatbed trailer
owned by Nelson Transfer, Inc., for the trip to her new
retirement home in Louisiana. There was a temporary setback
when it was discovered that proud Gertie stood too tall
for an underpass, so the air had to be let out of her tires
she arrived at Jefferson Parish Library headquarters on
Thursday, March 23rd, on the flatbed trailer. She was taken
to Herbert S. Hiller Corp. in Harahan, where we were allowed
to use the ramp to download her.
rested up before the final leg of the trip to Grand Isle.
She had to be reconditioned so that she could complete her
journey and eventually be connected for electrical services.
Her donated contents were removed and loaded into another
truck, to reduce the strain on Gertie for the long and slow
drive to her new home. Then she was on her way to her final
destination a couple of weeks before the scheduled Grand
Isle Library Grand Reopening Ceremony held on Wednesday,
June 7, 2006. Even with her load lightened, Gertie required
a mid-route tune-up.
the Grand Reopening at 2:00PM, Wednesday, June 7, 2006,
Gertie's door was opened to the public, joining the Cybermobile
loaned by Muncie Public Library.
JOINS THE CYBERMOBILE, LIBRARY REPRESENTATIVES, AND GRAND
DIGNITARIES FOR THE GRAND ISLE GRAND REOPENING RIBBON-CUTTING
June 7, 2006
Parish Library thanks Waukegan Public Library, its Executive
Director Richard Lee, and all involved for the generous
donation and transport of Gertie with books to Jefferson
Parish Library. She is happy at her new home in the parking
lot of Grand Isle Library, and her happiness is shared by
the people of Grand Isle.