A Man for All Seasons
- by Bruce E. McKinney
David Yount at Lees-MacRae College
A man now in winter looking forward to his seventy-eighth spring, many times retired and never retiring, David Yount now of Mashpee in Massachusetts is engaged in the career of bookselling and finding in the online community of booksellers, book buyers and binders, engagement, complexity and challenge, - elements essential for living long and well.
“I have had many careers, as a Methodist minister In Vermont tending to flocks, later teaching at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania and Bolles School in Jacksonville, then for eighteen years as history professor at Lees-MacRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina near where I was raised. There I found my calling teaching students for whom literacy was sometimes more than words and ciphers, it was escape from generations of grinding poverty. In that role I made a difference and found purpose.“
“At 62 in 1996 cancer quieted and retired me. Two Christmases later I moved to New England to be near my son.” In this transition and recovery he took a course in bookbinding at Brown, became a binder and in time transitioned in to bookselling, his goals to earn and dispose, to be busy and useful – in much the same way people in the mountains of the Carolinas where he long lived have labored for generations to be self-sufficient and independent. “In books and working with them I found that which I had long sought to teach – the importance of self-renewing purpose. Today, at 77 I’m still busy being born, yet today a student in my own classroom.“
In this new life the search for fresh material, knowledge of importance and completeness, an eye for possibilities and the patience to execute carefully provide ever-adjusting challenges that lie at the heart of the dictum, to live long and well, stay busy. “I most appreciate books as objects and like nothing better than scanning shelves and sorting bins for gems to restore or simply sell.”