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Library Talk – November 21, 2016

From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director

Happy Thanksgiving to all. A day such as Thanksgiving gives us a chance to reflect a bit (during the chaos of a holiday) of what we have, what we can give, and who we can share the time with, all precious in different ways.

I’m sure most of you have flipped through a magazine or two at a store while waiting in line to pay for your stuff. I hope that everyone realizes that can be done in a more relaxed manner here at the library!. I just browsed through a few, and a half hour went by very quickly. I learned the feral pigs are invading Ohio and are as close as Adams County, my mouth watered over many of the holiday recipes on the covers of many of the magazines, community gardens are growing and becoming even more productive in food and spirit, looked at ideas for Christmas decorations, and so much more. Our most recent magazines and newspapers are always available to read, and we have comfortable chairs nearby.

About a month ago I shared the discovery of John P. Parker’s youngest daughter Bianca’s educational foray to Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire. Well, it turns out that she spent 5 years there, as well as a year before her time at KUA at the Indiana Normal School of Indiana, Pennsylvania in 1892-93. It appears she studied music and a little bit in commercial skills such as book-keeping. She became a music teacher and for a fair amount of time lived in Cincinnati. In 1916-17, she once again was a student, this time at University of Cincinnati’s McMicken College of Liberal Arts as an evening student. Who knows, we may find other institutions of higher learning she attended as we keep digging.

On John P. Parker himself, I found that in 1878, he repaired two towboats that broke down near Ripley. The towboat Sam Brown broke her doctor and Parker quickly fixed it. I admit I had to look up what a ‘doctor’ was on a towboat, the answer is…a steam operated pump to feed water into the boiler, invented shortly after the Civil War. The other boat, the Robin, broke a cam rod near Maysville, and tore one of the barges to pieces, allowing twenty-five hundred barrels of salt to sink, and after the salt dissolved, the barrels began popping to the surface close to Ripley. I suspect Parker fixed many a boat, and through the Ripley Bee, we at least know some of their names. This type of research won’t bring world peace, but it is fun to discover bits and pieces that continue to fill in the historical picture of Ripley.

Last call on the food for fines—during Thanksgiving week, a can or box of nonperishable food will take $2.00 off your overdue fines, and the much needed canned fruit or meat will be ‘worth’ $3.00 off! Also, each dollar paid is worth $2.00, with funds and food going to our local food pantries. Questions? Please call 937-392-4871.