Thursday, March 30, 2017

Make It Work

Liz Reed is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz's column in the March 30, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

“Everything old is new again.” We’ve all heard variations of this famous line, usually applied to fashion. We’re supposed to change our wardrobes seasonally, and seasonal staples change from year to year. All fans of Project Runway know that the fashion world moves quickly; as Heidi Klum says, “In fashion, one day you’re in, the next day – you’re out.”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Who Loves Opera

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the March 23, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Gerry and I were listening to Sirius’s The 70s channel on a long turnpike ride home from our New Jersey children. There’s nothing better than a Sunday afternoon riding shotgun, my knitting in my lap, while I occasionally look up to notice the landscapes of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island slide by. Knowing most of the words to the songs on the radio is a bonus.  Gerry and I often switch to the 60s so that we know ALL the words to the songs. We were simply Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon.

As we were singing along to The Pinball Wizard, the Who’s rock opera Tommy came to mind that afternoon.  Images from the 1975 musical and Roger Daltrey’s luscious golden curls apparently entered my consciousness from that area of my hard-driven brain that stores my young adulthood memories.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Creative Potential of Freckles

Sam Simas is a Technology Assistant at the Morrill Memorial Library this winter and spring. Read Sam's column in the March 16, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

As a child, when I still drank grape-flavored juice-boxes and stared into the sky, my friend Emily sat with me at a splintered picnic table under Camp Y--’s pavilion and taught me that my freckles had creative potential; that I could use pens or permanent markers or lip-stick and do what she did: connect one dot to the other, make a diamond, or a sailboat, or a horse (she had a lot of freckles).  But my freckles have always been too linear; I could come up with a line, or at best a slanting Orien’s Belt.  Otherwise, I let myself become dejected by the inferior quantity of my skin abnormalities.  For this, I need someone to blame, and so I blamed the sun.

            In defiance of my mother and father, I abandoned all SPF and counted the hours of direct sunlight I could catch on my arms.  Sometimes, in school, I would sit in the window and roll my sleeves back, hoping for a freckle or two.  This, as you may imagine, did not work.  After many years of bright pink sunburn at Camp Y--, no more freckles had appeared on my arms, and I stopped trying to keep up with Emily and her horse-shaped freckle constellations.

I’d learned a lot from trying to fry my skin, more perhaps than a kid should have known; that the sun’s rays were once measured with a Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder (think of a magnifying glass for frying ants, but adult-sized), and fascination with the power of weather lead to me to explore other weather phenomena: tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Rediscover James Michener

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the March 9, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

When I was a young teenager in the mid-1960s, the young adult genre of books was a mish-mash of Nancy Drew, Sue Barton, The Hardy Boys, Little Women, Treasure Island and David Copperfield. Once we teens had devoured all of those books, including Black Stallion, Johnny Tremain and I Capture the Castle, we seemed to move quickly and deliberately into books written for adults. We read John Steinbeck’s Mice and Men, Conrad Richter’s A Light in the Forest, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. We carried dog-eared copies of Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Pearl Buck’s Good Earth, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.

There were many of us who wanted something more meaningful than the romance, science fiction, and adventure written in the 40s and 50s for teenagers. Bestselling author Steve Berry writes that “what we now know as the young adult genre [in the early 60s] had yet to be invented”. Steven King’s Carrie was a decade away and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter was more than 30 years from being published.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Discovering an Old Spirit

Diane Phillips is the Technical Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.  Read Diane's  column in the March 2, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

I took my first sip of bourbon at Thanksgiving.  A few friends gathered for a Friendsgiving celebration and I was bringing dessert.  I didn't want to bring a traditional pie or cake.  That was boring to me.  I remembered seeing a book in our collection that had caught my eye – "Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients" by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.  The cover of the book is well done and inviting but it was the layout that really captured my attention and got me to look into it further.  Each chapter of recipes is organized by the authors' favorite ingredients that are found in many popular dessert staples such as peanut butter, caramel, cinnamon and chocolate.  Chapter four is what got me curious - Booze.  I knew that spirits are used in both cooking and baking but I hadn't tried adding any to desserts that I've made in the past, so I was intrigued. The first recipe listed in the Booze chapter is Bourbon, Vanilla, and Chocolate Milk Shakes.  That sounded, and looked, really good and super easy to do.  I had my dessert!