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Write Your Story…Halloween!

Bruce Haase ( senior library member ) has submitted the following memoir:

Bruce Haase

Bruce Haase

“Halloween Haunted House”

Ned was trying to convince No Jocks and I that he came from a long line of entrepreneurs, and we could make some cash this Halloween. He had a plan but needed the two of us to help him with the details and to back him up with the plan.

I had never been totally trusting of Ned, and asked him, “What the hell is an entrepreneur?

Naturally No Jocks answered with, “That’s a French guy that wears girl’s clothes!” I punched him on the shoulder, and Ned slapped him on the top of the head.

I made a mental note to stop at the library to find out what an entrepreneur was. Then I could figure out if Ned was one.

Ned told us his plan, I fine tuned it, and No Jocks nervously said, he’d go along with it if we would.

The plan was to brag that the three of us would go to the door of the old Haunted Mansion on Nottingham and get in, if someone answered, we said we weren’t afraid of ghosts, or whoever answered. We would bet all comers.

The rest of the plan was our secret. We would meet at one pm on the Saturday before Halloween in front of our school if we got enough kids to bet against us.

We ended up with a bunch of fifty cent bets. If we won we’d split $9.50 three ways and if we lost, well, it would be a $3 hit for each of us and Ned had to pay the extra fifty cents. It was his idea, right…

All three of us were there early on Saturday and we pedaled our bikes up Nottingham and crossed over to the overgrown drive way. We knew someone still lived there, we’d all seen the light or two in the windows at night. No one that we knew had ever been down that driveway before, at least, not in our lifetimes. It was big and old and falling apart, overgrown everything. A few outbuildings that had collapsed or were threatening to. A tall rusty flagpole leaned further than Pisa. Ned and I mumbled it was time to see if it was truly haunted. No Jocks said he could get the $3 from his uncle if we decided to back out. We both punched him…

After a breathless 200 foot ride we’re at the door, as Ned raises his hand to knock the door opens…

I swear it creaked. Now, realize that the three of us are in the seventh grade, two of us are tall, No Jocks is only about 4-11 though. The real old lady that answered is shorter then him and has a sweet smile. It turned out that there were two of them living there, both in their 80’s. They had been born in the house in the 1870’s, not in a hospital, but born in the house! There was a room especially for birthing and dying and those kinds of things. They told us you wouldn’t want to mess up a nice room with dis-tasteful goings’ on. The family had made their money selling sharpening stones to the Union Army in the Civil War and all the later wars, they added bayonets and such, all the way into WWII when they sold the company. At one time their property was 640 acres, now sold down to around 8 acres.

We explained our bet with the other kids to them and they loved it. They told us they hadn’t seen a trick-or-treater for at least ten years. They would be awake and ready for us on Halloween, only before 8pm. That was bedtime, you see.

At around 6:30 pm on Halloween eight of us showed up, five of the kids we had bet with, were the witnesses and waited at the sidewalk. None would go down the driveway with us. The old lady’s opened the door and had Witches hats on and tried to screech, we had to screech for them. We went in and closed the door and the five of us had a good laugh. We hung out for maybe ten minutes and after promising to visit them again, they gave us carrots and apples and each a brand new Two Dollar bill. There were only three kids waiting for us, two had run away.

We had won our bets, every kid had paid off without a hassle. We were famous at Saint John’s School, all the grades and even the teachers were impressed. We never told a soul about the early visit, on that Saturday afternoon.

A few days later, when I stopped a Sonny’s Garage they told me that, “The little No Jocks kid had been in there saying that we had gone to the Nottingham Haunted House on Halloween and there were two old ladies that gave us each a two dollar bill.” He didn’t have his bill for proof because he had spent it, so they didn’t believe him.

I pulled out my wallet and withdrew the new two dollar bill, with a whistle I kissed it, smiled and casual as you please, strolled out. I looked back and said, “the No Jocks never lies!”

When I delivered the afternoon paper to Moe’s Tavern they asked me about No Jock’s story, I showed the bill and smiled. I vowed to carry that bill with me from then on.

For a couple of years No Jocks and I visited the old lady’s, Ned never did. After all, he was an entrepreneur and they don’t always honor their commitments.

************************

Write Your Story @ the Union City Library

Join our senior library member Bruce Haase

and write your memoir. Bruce is lifelong reader, he now writes memoire-based, creative non-fiction.

These are informal meetings ,

to support each other and organize your thoughtseiffel_tower_black_and_white

for writing. Sharing is optional.

Meetings take place

The Third Tuesday of the month

November 18,  December 16, January 20

1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

Please bring pen & paper

For more information: Bruce Haase  Email:ohnjca@comcast.net

 

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Filed under Events, Uncategorized, Union City Library

Book Club…Dear Life Stories

Canadian short-story writer Alice Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.

A brilliant new collection of stories from one of the most acclaimed and beloved writers of our time. 

Alice Munro’s peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but always spacious and timeless stories is once again everywhere apparent in this brilliant new collection. In story after story, she illumines the moment a life is forever altered by a chance encounter or an action not taken, or by a simple twist of fate that turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into a new way of being or thinking. A poet, finding herself in alien territory at her first literary party, is rescued by a seasoned newspaper columnist, and is soon hurtling across the continent, young child in tow, toward a hoped-for but completely unplanned meeting. A young soldier, returning to his fiancée from the Second World War, steps off the train before his stop and onto the farm of another woman, beginning a life on the move. A wealthy young
woman having an affair with the married lawyer hired by her father to handle his estate comes up with a surprising way to deal with the blackmailer who finds them out.While most of these stories take place in Munro’s home territory—the small Canadian towns around Lake Huron—the characters sometimes venture to the cities, and the book ends with four pieces set in the area where she grew up, and in the time of her own childhood: stories “autobiographical in feeling, though not, sometimes, entirely so in fact.” A girl who can’t sleep imagines night after wakeful night that she kills her beloved younger sister. A mother snatches up her child and runs for dear life when a crazy woman comes into her yard.Suffused with Munro’s clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these tales about departures and beginnings, accidents and dangers, and outgoings and homecomings both imagined and real, paint a radiant, indelible portrait of how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be.

from Publisher Summary

 BOOK CLUB Meeting Tuesday October 28, 2014 @ the Union City Library , 1 p.m.

 

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Write Your Story……..On a Bicycle at 84

On A Bicycle at 84

by: Arthur Thistlewood, Library member

Not long ago a text entitled TRAINING THE MIND  came to my attention. In the introduction , the author explains that your mind plays tricks on you, so beware! I thought to myself, how can that be? But then you realize  the tricks are simply ways your mind is not always aware of itself, that you, yourself, never know how old your are. Im my case, being over eighty causes lapses of awareness that causes problems.bicycle

Prepare for a laugh.

For the Independence Day celebration, my nephew and I had camped beside a lake near Sacramento. We cooked and swam and walked lazily, and enjoyed camping before heading back to the city and the daily grind. With the camper ready to haul to storage, Steve noticed his bicycle in the rear view mirror was still standing near the spot where we had parked.
“Would you mind walking the bike over to storage while I drive over there and store the camper?”

“Glad to do it, “I replied, so I got out of the truck and walked back to where the bicycle was still parked.

Jauntily, I began to push the bike. After about seven minutes I had progressed about 75 yards toward the storage area. O noticed a ledge to my left, so I stepped up on the ledge to mount the bike, but couldn’t get my log over the frame. Thant should have warned me, but, unthinking, I continued to push the bike along. Even though I hadn’t ridden a bicycle for many years, I did not realize I might be too old to jump on a bicycle and ride.

After pushing along a few more yards, I came to some steps to my  left whick led up to the pool house. This time I thought sure I could manage to ride the rest of the way to storage , and casually threw my leg over the bicycles as if to start riding it.

Well, the bicycle took on a life of its own; I was 40 years too old just to ride a bicycle. I watched in consternation as the bicycle gloriously continued its way with me on it. Instead of proceeding cautiously along the drive, the bicycle twisted this way and that, turning right down the grassy slope into the lake.  PLOP. Although undamaged, I was suddenly wet up to my eyelashes.

Fortunately for me, several people were working nearby; everyone came running to pull the bicycle and me out of the water. Whew!

No one was laughing, but I realized just how lucky it was I hadn’t hurt myself as I attempted to do something I could have done easily twenty years ago.

There It was: my mind had played a trick on me I had not thought for one second that I was incapable of just riding the bike wherever it needed to go. We sometimes hear stories of senior citizens getting themselves into difficulty trying to perform some task that had been quite easy a few years ago. All that’s left to say is, please think a moment, because you might not wind up wet but undamaged as I did.

***

Write Your Story @ the Union City Library

Join our senior library member Bruce Haase

and write your memoir. Bruce is lifelong reader, he now writes memoire-based, creative non-fiction.

These are informal meetings ,

to support each other and organize your thoughtseiffel_tower_black_and_white

for writing. Sharing is optional.

Meetings take place

The Third Tuesday of the month

October 21, November 18 and December 16

1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

Please bring pen & paper

For more information: Bruce Haase  Email:ohnjca@comcast.net

 

 

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Filed under Events, News, Uncategorized, Union City Library

Monday Children’s Book Reviews for September 22, 2014

Check out these new books:

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses edited by Johnathan Deaver

“Gods and goddesses–in human, animal, and other forms–were central to the ancient Egyptian way of life. Identified with the natural world, daily living, and the afterlife, they maintained order and prevented chaos from permeating the human world. The figures documented in ancient hieroglyphics are given dimension in this absorbing volume, which examines the characteristics and significance of many of the Egyptian gods and goddesses and also looks at related topics such as ancient symbols and the influence of Egyptian mythology on other cultures and belief systems.”      [J299.3121 EGYPTIAN]

Greek Gods and Goddesses by Michael Taft

“Giving Western literature and art many of its most enduring themes and archetypes, Greek mythology and the gods and goddesses at its core are a fundamental part of the popular imagination. At the heart of Greek mythology are exciting stories of drama, action, and adventure featuring gods and goddesses, who, while physically superior to humans, share many of their weaknesses. Readers will be introduced to the many figures once believed to populate Mount Olympus as well as related concepts and facts about the Greek mythological tradition.”       [J292.211 TAFT,M]

Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses by Vincent Hale

“Mesopotamian religion was one of the earliest religious systems to develop with–and in turn influence–a high civilization. Followed by the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, Mesopotamian religion and mythology reflected the complexities of these societies and has been preserved in remnants of their cultural, economic, and political institutions. This absorbing volume provides a glimpse of the cradle of civilization by examining Mesopotamian religious and mythological beliefs as well as some of the many gods and goddesses at the core of their stories and also looks at epics–such as that of Gilgamesh–and other aspects of Mesopotamian life.”               [J299.21 MESOPOTAMIAN]

Roman Gods and Goddesses by William White

“While the ancient Roman pantheon in many ways resembles that of ancient Greece, there is much that sets apart Roman mythology. Romans also borrowed from the religions of ancient Egypt, Asia Minor, and the Middle East, and legendary figures such as Romulus and Remus, tied closely to the history of Rome, feature prominently in ancient stories. The major and lesser figures of Roman mythology are presented in this vibrant volume with sidebars spotlighting related facts and concepts about Roman mythology and religion.”    [J292.211 ROMAN]

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Filed under Book Reviews, Children, Reading, Teens, Uncategorized, Union City Library

Write Your Story…how to write like CHEKHOV.

 How to Write Like Chekhov : Advice and Inspiration, Straight from His Own Letters and Work

“Chekhov wrote over 100 years ago, in a place with cultural traditions and norms quite different from our own. Yet his advice to the scribes of today is timeless: “Consciousness is the sister of talent” and “Cry but without letting the reader know you’re crying.” A shot in the arm for struggling writers and a wonderful tool for teachers. Background: Brunello (Univ. of Venice) and Lencek (Reed Coll.) introduce a collection of mindful observations and relevant advice from the father of the modern short story on how to write well. Arranged in five stages involved in the creation of a nonfiction work-general questions, specific questions, the project, the report, and the actual writing-the book provides guidelines culled from Chekhov’s letters to his publishers, family members, contemporaries, and friends, as well as from his plays and stories. The book reveals the universal truths of becoming a writer despite the different culture, conventions.”

Write Your Story @ the Union City Library

Join our senior library member Bruce Haase

and write your memoir. Bruce is lifelong reader, he now writes memoire-based, creative non-fiction.

These are informal meetings ,

to support each other and organize your thoughts

for writing. Sharing is optional.eiffel_tower_blue

Meetings take place

The Third Tuesday of the month

September 16, October 21, November 18

and December 16

1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

Please bring pen & paper

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Older Adults, Uncategorized

Monday Children’s Book Reviews for August 18, 2014

Slow down! Enjoy every last minute of summer! Have you gone to the beach, or taken a picnic to the park? Have you roller skated, or ridden your bike? 

It’s not too late! How about calling some school friends you haven’t seen all summer. Pack a lunch and  ride your bikes to the park to have some fun and get reacquainted. 

And we have some great new books to find at the Library and enjoy:

The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp

“Princess Sue dreams of finding her Prince Charming. But when that Prince proves to be a bit more traditional than what she had hoped for, Princess Sue—along with the help of fiery dragon—becomes determined to find a way to get the fairy-tale ending that she always envisioned for herself.”       [JPB KEMP]

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

“When Oliver’s explorer parents go missing, he sets sail on a rescue mission with some new, unexpected friends: a grumpy albatross, a nearsighted mermaid . . . even a living island! But the high seas are even more exciting, unusual, and full of mischief than Oliver could have imagined. Can he and his crew spar with sarcastic seaweed, outrun an army of sea monkeys, win a fabulous maritime fashion contest, and defeat a wicked sea captain in time to save Mom and Dad?”                [J REEVE]

Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming by Jason R. Briggs

“Python is a powerful, expressive programming language that’s easy to learn and fun to use! But books about learning to program in Python can be kind of dull, gray, and boring, and that’s no fun for anyone.

“Python for Kids brings Python to life and brings you (and your parents) into the world of programming. The code in this book runs on almost anything: Windows, Mac, Linux, even an OLPC laptop or Raspberry Pi!”         [J005.133 BRIGGS]

Junk Drawer Physics: 50 Awesome Experiments That Don’t Cost a Thing by Bobby Mercer

“More than 50 great hands-on experiments that can be performed for just pennies, or less. Turn a plastic cup into a pinhole camera using waxed paper, a rubber band, and a thumbtack. Build a swinging wave machine using a series of washers suspended on strings from a yardstick. Or construct your own planetarium from an empty potato chip canister, construction paper, scissors, and a pin. Each project has a materials list, detailed step-by-step instructions with illustrations, and a brief explanation of the scientific principle being demonstrated. Junk Drawer Physics also includes sidebars of fascinating physics facts, such as did you know the Eiffel Tower is six inches taller in summer than in winter because its steel structure expands in the heat?”      [J530.078 MERCER]

Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects: Easy to Pick Up, Hard to Put Down by Sophie Maletsky

Sticky Fingers is a vibrant, easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to creating amazing projects with the hottest crafting material on the market today – duct tape! The book includes tons of photographs alongside directions designed to make creating a wallet and making a bag even easier, while also providing a steady stream of ideas for personalizing and embellishing your duct tape creations. Each project includes icons showing difficulty level and project time, as well as helpful hints, such as how to keep your scissors clean and what to do with end pieces. So grab a roll of duct tape, pick a project, and get started!”            [745.5 MALETSKY]

Sew It! Make 17 Projects with Yummy Precut Fabric by Allison Nicoll

“Get your budding quilter sewing with 17 easy and fun projects made mostly from precuts. With the time they’ll save on cutting, they’ll be able to get down to the business of creating right away. From an earphones pouch to a pillow to, of course, quilts, and even a sleepover set—Sew It! presents kids with a broad range of projects for all skill levels that will teach them quiltmaking basics while challenging them to build their skill sets. All the projects are designed to be sewn on a domestic machine and can be completed without adult assistance.”              [J746 NICOLL]

 

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World Music @ the Library

Mohammad-Rezā Lotfi (1947-2014) is one of the greatest contemporary masters of the tar and setar. He is among the major figures who, in the past twenty years, have revolutionized the Persian traditional (classical) music. His original creativity and the deep-rooted emotional quality of his playing have made him the father of a new aesthetics in Persian music.

Check out the library holding for the DVD and CD of his concerts:

Art of improvisation, Niavaran concert DVD &  Mystery of love CD.

 

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