Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Saga of Mildred Pierce

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 27, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

As a follower of Kate Winslet since the “Titanic” days, I chanced to come across a recommendation of her appearance in an HBO miniseries (available on DVD at our library). The description of the five-part series, “Mildred Pierce,” intrigued me.

One reason is that I’ve always been fascinated by the depression, the setting for “Mildred Pierce.” Growing up I’d listened to stories by my grandmother, my mother and aunts and uncles who endured those years in the 30s. Living in a Massachusetts mill town, many of my mother's family scraped by to make ends meet during the Depression's darkest days. I am also the owner of a quilt created by my great-grandmother in the 30s. It was crafted from scraps of clothing that had been carefully ripped apart and remade into dresses and shirts for the large family. During my own quilting days, I remade that worn quilt and named it “Aunties’ Dresses”; I had heard the tale of which calico piece had earlier been a grown-up dress. That same dress became a child’s shirt in the 1930s and it later became my inherited quilt.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Book Club of Two

Read Alli Palmgren's column in the November 20, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.

With our annual family reunion approaching, I have been thinking about a particular trait that makes our family unique. You see, my family is blessed with a genetic predisposition to produce vast numbers of twins. If you don’t believe me, check out the September 1938 issue of National Geographic that recounts the story of my great-grandparents, Harry and Lydia Fifield. They managed to have an astounding six sets of twins in 13 years- a record at the time.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Talking with the Car Talk Guys

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 13, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

In 2000, I found myself in the market for my very first, very own car.  My husband of 27 years was newly-exed and in the arms of another woman.  My daughters were off to college driving their own wheels. My emptied nest was a spacious overstatement and so was my eight-seat, Chevy Suburban-Mom car.  I was attending graduate school and managing a part-time job in Boston.  I drove thousands of miles a month to and from work and school and social engagements across New England. I wanted to downsize to something practical, sporty, and fuel-efficient.

            I successfully traded in the gas-guzzler and skillfully negotiated the purchase price of a VW Cabriolet convertible. Did I consider about the practicalities or persnickety workings of a foreign car? Did I analyze the rationale of a standard transmission in New England’s ice and snow? Of course not. I just knew that I would save money on gas and have a blast driving my great little car.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mystery Boxes - Cleaning Out the Attic

Margot Sullivan is a part-time reader's advisory and reference librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column as published in the November 6, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Years ago we had a pull down staircase constructed in order to easily access the attic. How nice this addition allowed us to store items for “safe” keeping out of sight and also out of mind. I knew there were some extra dining chairs, a suitcase, and some Christmas decorations but what else I wondered? I stood at the top of the stairs and looked at the poorly labeled boxes.

As I brought items downstairs and opened the boxes my son’s young years flashed before my eyes. The thousands of pieces of Legos were magic for him and his Dad as they created towers and buildings and bridges and spaceships, Now those Legos are in my son’s garage ready for his two young children. Looking at the current Lego merchandise I am sure his kids are going to want many more Legos which are more creative than ever. The Star Wars action figures might be worth something if he hadn’t lost a sword or a hat but the original carrying case has them all lined up. The Star Wars space stations have already moved to his home for his children.