I just heard the sad news that J. D. Salinger has died. He was 91.
I went to school at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, which is just a few miles north of Cornish, New Hampshire, where Salinger lived. During the summer between my junior and senior year, I had a job at the circulation desk at the Dartmouth library. I was working one morning when my boss tapped me on the shoulder and motioned with his head over to the side of the desk. I just caught a glimpse of a tall, slender, slightly stooped man going through the doorway into the stacks. “That’s J. D. Salinger,” my boss whispered.
Holy crap, I thought. I just saw J. D. Salinger.
About ten minutes later Salinger suddenly reappeared at the desk, holding a dollar bill. I went over to him, and he said he needed change for the Xerox machine. I took his dollar and gave him four quarters.
That’s my claim to fame: I gave J. D. Salinger change for a buck.