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More than words

Carol Meyer brings books to life

The pandemic has had many of us yearning for simpler times. Saving pennies for the sound of the ice cream truck coming around the corner and playing outside until the universal sign of the outdoor lights coming on before it was time to go home are just a couple of the memoires we pass on to future generations. Remember story time? You either went to a library or a book store and someone reading the book would make it come alive in your mind and spirit.

Not all treasures from the past are gone. Carol Meyer, best known as “Miss Carol” comes to Tulsa Toy Depot each Thursday from 11 a.m. to share her love of music and reading with her loyal audience. 

How did it all start? Meyer was born with the love of music and story telling in her heart. It may have even been her destiny as the meaning of Carol is “bringer of song”. Growing up in Nebraska as the eighth of 10 children, Meyer was asked to run an errand for her sister. She had saved her money and asked Meyer to go to the pawn shop and purchase a guitar she had been eyeing. Eager to make her sister happy, Meyer got on the bus, went to the store and bought the prized guitar. “I counted out each dollar to the store owner,” recalls Meyer. “The gentleman asked if I knew how to play and when I told him I didn’t, he threw in a free book of songs to practice. By the time my sister got home, I was excited to show her how much I had learned,” exclaims Meyer. After a couple of weeks of sore fingers and calluses, her sister made the fateful decision to give the guitar to Meyer. The rest as they say, is history.

Having three kids and subsequently four grandchildren gave Myers plenty of story-telling experience, but it wasn’t until she got a job at Pottery Barn Kids that her skills were put to the test. “It was only my second day and they asked if I could do a story time for children. I was excited to do it, but felt like I needed a little more time to prepare. But, the kids came to hear a story and I was happy to do it.” The following week she asked if she could incorporate her guitar and from then on, she’s used music along with books to entertain children of all ages.

When Tulsa Toy Depot opened nearly five years ago, they knew they wanted to incorporate Meyer into their store persona and make story time about giving the kids in the community a chance to learn and be entertained and Meyer has been a part of its weekly schedule ever since.

For the parents, it’s about much more than getting a break. One mother there with her two eager children explains that it helps give the kids a routine in a time of uncertainty. “Miss Carol always starts off with songs we can all sing to and follows it with two books. My kids know what to expect and look forward to it!”

As the clock strikes eleven, Meyers addresses each child by name before she hands out maracas for them to join in. Old favorites like “You are my Sunshine” and “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” have kids singing and even busting a move. After a few favorites, Meyers settles in to book time. But it doesn’t feel like a traditional story time. Meyers interacts with the children during the story asking their thoughts and observations. The kids are as integral to story time as Meyers is, but she insists it’s them who give her the most joy. “I get so much from their enthusiasm and smiles.”

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