Our Weekly Reader–June 9, 2016


The Depot summer season kicks off this next week with the introduction of a number of new weekly & monthly events:

  • The Cook’s Garden (1 -2:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Sundays of each month). Come talk gardening and cooking, trade recipes and tips, and swap produce (effective during over abundant zucchini season). A “reader’s group” for cooks who love to garden (or the versa).
  • Mysteries @the Depot (7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month). Come join the mystery fray. Mysteries @the Depot is a readers’ group (come and compare notes, talk mysteries, get suggestions, et al.) with a twist. . Each meeting has a different activity. Pour a cup of coffee (or tea) and figure out how to stump even the most intrepid investigator. Create the perfect detective. Figure out who dumped the body in the hot tub.
  • Read Anything Good Lately? (1-2:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons). A different type of readers’ group. Come spend some time talking to other readers. Learn about new authors or authors new to you. Pour a cup of coffee (or tea); compare notes on character development, settings, genres; and explore why folks read what they read. Each meeting revolves around a different question or topic.
  • Construct This! (2-4:00 p.m, Wednesdays). Paper modeling and construction for kids (and adults) ages 9 and up. A different project every week.
  • Pick-a-Book. (1-3:00 p.m., Thursdays). Reading, art, and storytelling activities for kids ages 6 to 9 (activities and stories vary per week).

Tea & Scones: Celebrating Dorothy L. Sayers

Come by the depot on June 11 for tea and scones and help us celebrate Peter Wimsey’s creator in thoroughly English fashion.  Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) created the Lord Peter  mysteries during the period between the two World Wars.

New to the Shelves

We have had some amazing donations this week (thank you to the Lazars, Stephanie Gilmore, Marvi Stine and Greg Duncan, Paul Poff, and others), which means we have some really cool new books. Our personal favorite is the Hogwarts pop-up book (who doesn’t like Harry Potter). We also have a great collection of Robert Parker (Spenser) mysteries and Stuart Woods thrillers. For romance enthusiasts, we have all three volumes of Nora Roberts’ In the Garden series (Blue Dahlia, Black Rose, and Red Lily).

Book of the Week:

radioMy mother used to listen to the television but very rarely watched it. She used to say she got bored staring at the screen, so she would reach for one of her projects, glancing up only occasionally. One of the reasons had to do with radio. As a child of the 1930s, she learned early on how to multi-task from her father, Sam. He would go out to his shop, turn on the Cubs, and spend the evening woodworking and groaning (the Cubs had a fairly poor decade).

Raised on Radio. Gerald Nachman (1998) is part memoir, part social history, and goes a long way in explaining why folks from the radio generation managed to get a whole lot more stuff done in the evenings than those glued to the television set. A fascinating and very entertaining look at vintage radio and how it impacted the Depression, WWII, and 50s generations.  As Carol Alessio of the Chicago Trib put it, “Raised on Radio is a compelling guide to an era.”

Wrestling with Air Conditioning

While old buildings, including old depots, have their charm, air conditioning is not on the list. Despite the abundance of windows, half of which have been painted shut for roughly a century, the temperature inside is always going to mirror (or at least closely parallel) the temperature and relative mugginess beyond the exterior walls. So, every year, we do battle with the window air conditioner. Unlike other types of technology (computers, phones, even books–much to our dismay), air conditioners have not gotten lighter with technological advances. They are still bulky, rectangular, and abnormally heavy. They are also not designed for the width of windows built when folks waved pieces of cardboard attached to popsicle sticks and pretended to be cool while drenching in talcum powder.

The annual match starts with unearthing the air conditioner from the void under one of the freight wagon–a nice, out-of-the-way location that prevents painful toe stubbing for seven months of the year. Unfortunately, it also prevents easy access when time comes for re-installation. As the crow flies, the air conditioner only needs to travel about 30 feet, but (as with all old buildings) there is no such thing as a straight line or a simple route in the depot.

This year’s annual air conditioning wrestling match turned out to be much easier because a long-time friend with younger back muscles arrived (with his two young sons in tow) and managed to wrestle and weather strip the air conditioner in place.



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