Does Your Arm Tell a Story?

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Aside from being a personable, energetic leader, my new boss at the library has a fascinating background. But I didn’t always know that.

Brave questions have opened windows into his life. One evening, when we were leaving work, I said, “The way you park makes me think you were in the military….” My curiosity did not offend him. “Close!” he said. “I was brought up in a military family.” Over the next week, he expanded on that response. We talked about his early and recent years living in Italy where his parents and wife were based as U.S. Army personnel.

Yesterday, I noticed that his entire left arm is covered with tattoos. Since he was manning the reference desk on a very slow morning, I ventured a question: “Does your arm tell a story?”

Boy, does it!

When he had told his way from wrist to bicep, I confessed “When I read what I could find of your CV, I thought—please forgive me—’a librarian since 2006?… Sounds like a dull life!’ Boy, was I wrong!”

What questions do YOU venture to open windows into the lives of your magnificent fellow men and women?

— Brad Hepp, May 13, 2023

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