story by Margaret Cheatham Williams
A swimsuit calendar clings to the cluttered yellow wall, frozen on March 2011.
“But, Dwayne,” Cheryl says, “it’s October.”
“I like Miss March,” he replies. “I don’t need anyone but her.”
Confined to a motorized wheel chair, Dwayne Varble spends his days watching the DVDs that Cheryl Mathias delivers to Medco Center of Henderson.
“My favorite is Dancing with Wolves,” he says. “I must have seen that one a hundred times.”
Cheryl has worked in libraries for her entire professional life and transitioned to the Bookmobile, an outreach program of the Henderson County Public Library, when she craved autonomy. Twelve years later, she continues to deliver materials to all walks of Henderson life.
She strives to bring stories to the otherwise inaccessible. Cheryl frequently visits childcare centers, nursing homes, government subsidized housing and homes of the elderly.
“They are hungry for companionship, and I like hearing their stories,” she says.
Cheryl met her husband Jimmy when she was 13, and they were married immediately following her college graduation.
“Though we have no children, we have plenty of children in our life,” Cheryl says. She and Jimmy invest their time into their large extended family of nieces and nephews.
An orderly line has formed in anticipation for her arrival at Henderson Manor, and one by one, each eager patron stepped into her world.
“I finally got some batteries,” one said as he perused the CD collection. “Thank the Lord.”
“Part of it is escapism, and I’m just looking for a good story,” Cheryl says.