Final chapter for Bookmobile Bob

September 13, 2018

By Ed Byrne The Brillion News

MORRISON – It all started so innocently, sort of like Gilligan’s Island.

Bob Ripley was a carpenter looking for work and the Brown County Library System was looking for a handyman to do routine maintenance at its scattering of facilities.

“They needed a driver,” Ripley said. “But they also needed some maintenance work done, so they hired me for that, too. I originally went to school to be a carpenter.”

That job evolved into Ripley becoming the county’s librarian on wheels, driving the bookmobile around to stops in rural areas of the county.

Basically, Bookmobile Bob took the library to a dozen or more small communities, and he did it for over 30 years.

But on Tuesday, September 4, when the bookmobile pulled into the parking lot at the Morrison Crossroads convenience store at State 96, County W and Holly-Morr Road, it was the last stop for Bookmobile Bob before his retirement, which was effective the next day.

Morrison Town Chairman Tom Kempen was there – in his mint 1957 Chevy – carrying a resolution from the town board. It was suitable for framing, no less.

“Whereas all Brown County residents should have access to reading materials; and whereas Morrison recognizes …” Kempen said. “I recognize today as Bookmobile Bob Day.”

It was a formal “thank you” to a man who piloted the big purple mobile library and gave countless children and adults access to everything in the big downtown library’s collection.

Please see the complete story in the September 13, 2018 edition of The Brillion News. 

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