Grace the Fern has quite literally graced Winters-Bellbrook Community Library for nearly 40 years. They say, “if these walls could talk, I wonder what secrets they would tell”—so what would Grace say if she had the chance?
Question: So Grace, you have lived here at Winters for 40 years. How old does that make you?
Grace: Well, you should never ask a proper lady her age. But I’m old enough now that it’s really quite impressive. I’ve lived almost 115 years, when William Taft was president and I was a mere tiny fern.
Question: Were you here when Jonathan Winters visited?
Grace: Oh my, yes. There was so much excitement when he was here. He signed my copy of his book, talking about his favorite Aunt Clara, who lived in Bellbrook. I still have the book here.
Question: Who takes care of you?
Grace: There is a clerk, Donna, who takes special care of me and waters me regularly. Some librarians even come over and talk to me and kindly pick up my “droppings.” I’ve seen so many librarians in my time.
Question: Do you have any children?
Grace: Once when I got a little too big for my pot, I was divided up. But sadly, the others refused to survive outside of the library. I am a true library fern, you see.
Question: What are your favorite memories of the library?
Grace: I love to see the children. I’ve been here so long that now I am seeing the grandchildren of my special friends from so long ago. The children’s programs are something I always look forward to. All of the happy faces.
Come in and say hello to Grace next time you visit the library. Remember to wish her a happy birthday next year! The big one-fifteen!