2018-04-12 / Editorial

Plant a pinwheel, save a brain

Library Links
By Bob Cochran

One snowy April afternoon, I was browsing the new non-fiction books at Libby Library hoping to find the newly released biography of Bartholomew Brimgaard, developer of the first artificially intelligent dentures, whose teeth were hacked during the 2016 election. My search was interrupted by the sound of some very hectic typing coming from the staff room.

Once I arrived, I saw our mascot Libby Lobster, with the crustacean equivalent of furrowed brows, staring intently at a computer screen.

“What are you up to now, Libby?” I asked.

“I’m writing this play about two hermit crabs forced to share the same shell. One’s a neat freak, and the other’s a complete slob.”

“That’s the ‘Odd Couple.’”

“How did you know the title? I haven’t even shown it to you yet.”

“No, Libby. A human version of the same story was written years ago by Neil Simon. It’s even been made into a movie and a couple of TV shows.”

“I knew it! I’m going to become just like Uncle Latimer.”

And here we go…

“What happened to your Uncle Latimer?”

“He sweated for years over his version of the great american novel called ‘Fifty Shades of Sargasso.’ I don’t know why, but it was not met with raves, or really, any enthusiasm whatsoever. Well anyway, Uncle Latimer grew increasingly despondent, until one day, he saw an episode of ‘The Muppet Show’ and decided to do his own puppet show.”

“It sounds like a happy ending.”

“Mmmm, not when you think about what happens to cloth and foam rubber kept underwater at depth. At least both the puppets and puppeteers developed a following among the flat fish.”

“Aww, that’s a real bad luck story. Speaking of bad luck, some people associate Friday the 13th with bad luck, but we here at Libby Library want to change that. Do you want to tell them how, Libby?”

“Sure! Tomorrow, Friday the 13th, we’re having the Ocean Park Ukesters over for a Jam Session starting at 6:30 p.m. Everyone’s invited to bring their singing voice and ukulele, if they have one, and jump in or just enjoy the music.

“It’s sure to be a fun time for everyone. Speaking of fun, there’s plenty more in store on Saturday the 14th, too.”

“That’s right, we’ll be getting things started at 10:30 a.m. with a pinwheel garden, co-sponsored by Kids Free to Grow as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month. We’re going to follow that up with great stuff for kids of all ages, like an awesome puppeteer.”

“Uncle Latimer?”

“No … a good puppeteer ... actually, a fantastic one. Lindsay and Her Puppet Pals will be here at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 14. She and her puppets always bring the house down with their blend of goofiness and great storytelling.”

“While we’re talking about our children’s activities, we should inform our readers that next week, while the local schools are on spring break, we’ll be offering an entire week of STEAM-related activities that will include exploring UV rays (sunlight), growing things and monitoring different cloud types.”

“Oh hey, that reminds me of another uncle of mine, Uncle Leonidas. He was inspired by the story of Icarus and his wings of wax, but Uncle Leonidas was fresh out of wax, so figured butter would work. Like Icarus, he became too proud, but instead of the sun, he flew too close to a pottery kiln just as they were taking out some newly baked plates. Poor Uncle Leonidas, smothered in melting butter, came crashing down right in the middle of one of them. The rest, as they say, is history.”

“Alrighty, so let’s just tell the folks about the spring break week activities. They start Tuesday, April 17 with bird feeders and planting pine cones. Wednesday we’ll see how ultraviolet rays work by making UV kids. on Thursday there’ll be light experiments and we’ll make sprout houses on Friday. All these weekday activities will start at 1 p.m. We’ll cap off the week of fun-filled science on April 21 with our monthly STEAM-Powered Saturday where we’ll learn how to use NASA’s Globe Observer app (remember to bring your own mobile device for that activity).”

“Libby, we have time to tell everyone about one more event. It’s one kids, adults and some of your uncles will be interested in. It’s our second annual “Save The Brains!” bicycle safety awareness event, which is being held in conjunction with OOB365 and Maine Neuro-restorative. This year it’s being held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28. Once again there’ll be plenty of free food and bicycle helmets.”

Bob Cochran is a volunteer at Libby Memorial Library in Old Orchard Beach.

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