Tales of Gold
February 2013 Issue
February 2013 Digest
Beloved children's books, a rope-jumping champion, a newly named historic landmark and hand-crafted valentines.
Although times have changed since the first Little Golden Books were published 70 years ago, the series endures. Those raised on favorite tales that include The Poky Little Puppy, Mother Goose and The Little Red Hen can take a trip down memory lane to see framed original illustrations and copies of cherished favorites at the main branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The “Golden Legacy” exhibit runs through Feb. 21.
The collection, on display in the library’s atrium, comprises 60 items compiled by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas.
“It’s so much fun to watch people come in and look,” says Kate Lawrence, the library’s program and exhibits coordinator. “I had a [patron] come through and she said, ‘This brings back so many memories of reading to my kids.’ There’s just so much nostalgia associated with the exhibit.”
The first 12 Little Golden Books, published in 1942, were popular not just for the stories they contained but also because they were the first books priced low enough to be sold in department stores and other chains, which made them affordable for families.
Two dozen artists from a variety of backgrounds are represented in the exhibit, including Garth Williams, known for illustrating Charlotte’s Web and the Little House series, Richard Scarry — famous for his anthropomorphic animal characters — and Hilary Knight, who lent his creative talents to the Eloise series.
“This is the only exhibit that I can ever recall where we actually had patrons who heard about the exhibit contact us to say, ‘You need to bring this,’ ” says Lawrence. “People are just getting so excited about it.”
The library is located at 800 Vine St., Cincinnati 45202. For more information, call 513/369-6900 or visit cincinnatilibrary.org
. — Jessica Esemplare
Jumping rope seems simple enough: All it takes is a rope, a person who likes to sweat and a pair of athletic shoes.
But wait a minute: As a competitive sport, jump rope is constantly morphing, becoming faster and trickier.
“Jumps happen so fast now that judges can’t possibly count both feet,” says 19-year-old Tori Boggs, jump rope’s 2011 and 2012 Female All-Around Grand World Champion. “So they count only the right foot and that gets doubled at the end. New technology counts it all and it shows up on a screen so the audience and other competitors see it.
“It is,” she adds, “pretty cool.”
Boggs’ list of records and international championships is as long as a rope for two side-by-side jumpers. Just consider this: She’s the Female Three Minute Speed World Record holder for doing 984 jumps, and holds the Female Single Rope Speed U.S. Record for 267 jumps. Whew!
Boggs, a freshman physics major at The Ohio State University, will take her passion for the sport to the 2013 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Feb. 28–March 3. “The Arnold” includes 45 sports and is billed as the world’s largest multi-sport fitness weekend. Actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger is a co-promoter of the fest, which began in 1989 as The Arnold Classic, a men’s professional bodybuilding competition.
A member of the hosting World Jump Rope organization, Boggs will assist in three competitive divisions: novice (for those who’ve never jumped before); fitness professionals (for those who use ropes in training, but want to become competitive jumpers); and professionals (experienced competition jumpers).
The Parkersburg, West Virginia, resident will also participate in a special
performance to “show off what the sport is really all about.”
Her prowess takes Boggs around the world, both as a competitor and ambassador for the sport in countries that include France, Sweden and Denmark. In December, she traveled to Africa with World Jump Rope to host the East Africa Rope Skipping Championships. While on the continent, Boggs traveled to several cities to promote jumping as an inexpensive, healthy, family-oriented activity.
An OSU honors student on a full academic scholarship, Boggs dreams of starting a jump rope team at the school. In fact, if she had her way, students would skip rope all the way to class — instead of skipping class. — Jill Sell
or for more information.
Standing at Attention
Volunteers: 4,000. Cups of coffee poured: 870,450. Number of servicemen and -women served: 1.3 million.
When you look at the numbers, it’s no wonder the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum was recently named a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Chosen by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional significance, designated landmarks number fewer than 2,500 places nationwide.
Clearly, the depot has earned its place in history. During World War II, it played a poignant role in the lives of the military personnel who passed through it. For a soldier leaving home for the first time and apprehensive about the future, arriving in small-town Dennison offered soothing respite. From March 19, 1942, to April 8, 1946, the depot’s Serviceman Canteen offered coffee and doughnuts along with words of comfort that had the power to lift the oppressive cloud of war — even if it was just for the five minutes trains stopped to refuel.
More than 300 people, including WWII vets and former canteen workers, attended the landmark dedication ceremony held on November 12.
As the last remaining former canteen in the United States, the Dennison Depot represents all that operated during the war to make the road ahead easier to bear.
And museum staffers are making sure that fact is not forgotten: The Landmark Legacy Campaign, launched at the ceremony, offers a way of tying the past to the present. The goal: to collect 1.3 million hand-written letters — one for each soldier served at the canteen during WW II — to send overseas to active military personnel. Additionally, a $1.3 million fund-raising effort is in the works to preserve the building.
“The depot is more than just an historic landmark,” Wendy Zucal, the museum’s director, explains. “It’s a way of telling our veterans, ‘You’ll never be forgotten. We’re here every day to tell your story.’” — Michelle DiFrangia
For more information on the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, visit dennisondepot.org.
Affairs of the Heart
Did your homemade-valentine days involve a paper doily and a jar of paste? Does your idea of a special valentine gift mean a call to your favorite restaurant for reservations? On this most sweet and personal holiday, check out how lovers in the not-so-distant past used nothing more than a piece of paper, something sharp and a little ink to commemorate their affection.
You know them as Mennonite or Amish, but their heritage is based in Switzerland and Germany, and, among the customs they brought from the old country is the lovely and delicate practice of Scherenschnitte, German for “scissor cuts.” Most often used to create valentines, love letters and records of important family events, 18th- and 19th-century Scherenschnitte are highly collectible for their sweet sentiment and elaborate design.
This Valentine’s Day, broaden your sweetheart’s horizons and give the paste a break. Instead, consider a handmade sentiment from another era that will be cherished for a lifetime (or generations).
For more information on collecting antique valentines and Scherenschnitte, visit garths.com/collecting
. — Amelia and Jeff Jeffers
"Ohio Finds" features fascinating objects brought to the attention of Amelia and Jeff Jeffers, co-owners of Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers, an international firm outside Columbus.