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Nov 11 13 11:49 AM

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In the 1950’s when I went to school at St. Francis of Assisi, we did not have a library in the school at that time. I see by the history of the Parish they did have one earlier but had to use the space to make more classrooms. So the children of the school use the  Library of the Germantown Friends. This was located up Germantown Ave. between Church Ln. and Coulter St., which is 6 or 7 good blocks from our school. I think I was in the 3rd grade when the Nun marched us up Logan to Germantown Ave. and on to the Friends Library, I can’t recall if the girls class was with us but if it was just the boys this time, you have to give a lot of credit to the good Nun on handling almost 60 boys of this age on their tract up the Avenue.I remember the name of the first book I got out of the library “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel”. At first they let us look thru the children’s section and I couldn’t find anything, then one of the librarians suggested this book to me. Interesting how we learn, because of this book---to this day I call those types of machines as steam shovels even though I don’t believe I ever saw one that ran on steam.I used this library for years even into my high school years. Below is a photo of the Vernon Library in Vernon Park from the early 1960’s, I did use it a few times when I was at Germantown High.image
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#1 [url]

Nov 13 13 3:30 PM

I was from Lower Germantown, so we always referred to it as going up to Germantown, I wonder if the people of Mt. Airy said going down to Germantown or those of East Germantown saying that they were going over to Germantown. Just a thought

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#2 [url]

Nov 15 13 10:16 PM

Our Neighborhood in Germantown McHugh:  It was a delight seeing the inside of the Vernon Park Library again.  Thank you for sharing this photo with us.  I spent many memorable hours in that little jewel (trying to restrain myself and remain quiet).  I can't recall any school trips down there like we made to the local theaters whenever Hollywood did a religious themed movie, and, I can't imagine how your good nun fit sixty of you kids in that much smaller Friends Library?  That must have been some outing. Libraries have changed a lot since the 1950s.  But it's getting harder and harder to get a book at our little one here in Santa Barbara; books are being displaced by the future-- CDs andDVDs.  This doesn't bother me,  but I'm happiest  when I have a "real book" in my hands.  Recalling how we did research back in the day,  I recall our version of Google back then.  Yes, everything that was worth researching could be found in the approx. 25 pound, oxford-red bound, Encyclopedia Britannica our thoughtful mother wisely purchased (on the weekly installment plan) for us six children.  We certainly used and abused that tome, cutting out maps, pictures and other facts for school projects.  One time I used it as a guide for drawing the male reproductive  system, an assignment for a biology class.  The good father informed me that it wasn't necessary to draw a state of tumescence.  :-)  But "It's all about the blood supply" I exclaimed. Germantown was an interesting place to grow up in.  One of the first suburbs, it was also one of the first areas to experience a kidnapping along with rambling ransom notes (see enclosure).I came across this piece of long forgotten history recently and knew the area well. Concerning your thought on going up or down to Germantown Ave., I think it was probably all relative to where you were.  It was common for us to say in our section of east Germantown, unquestioned, that we were "going up the avenue"  and then "going downtown."

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#3 [url]

Nov 16 13 4:08 PM

Love the Library

I am happy to report that the library experience is still alive and well down here in sunny Florida.  I understand that many people that are regular readers of books, like to keep them for whatever reason.  I personally prefer to go the cost effective process, and "borrow" books, at no charge from the library.

Libraries are somewhat going the way of many stores, with most transactions, other then physically picking up the book, can be done on line.  In addition to this
convenience, the library card has been replaced with a bar code that can be attached to one's key chain. I usually go to my account online, type on the book I want and place a hold on it.  When the book arrives, I am sent an email.  I am also sent an email a few days before the book is due back.  At any given time, I will have 2 or 3 books out, and at least that many on order.

John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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