Start along One Road, Continue Down Another


A good book not only answers questions, but suggests others.  This can lead the reader on a path that wasn’t expected.  I recently read such a book.  David McCullough’s book The Wright Brothers is very good, and I recommend it.  This book introduced a question that I will ponder for awhile (who knows; I may have to learn French to answer it.)  And it also gave me a renewed appreciation of a valuable library service.
This poswright brotherst is not really about McCullough‘s book or much about aviation itself.  It is about the connection between early bicycling and aviation (it’s quite a coincidence that the first Tour de France
and the first Wright Brothers powered flight occurred in the same year.)  McCullough points out that the brothers’ experience with building and riding bicycles was invaluable in building the “Flyer.”  The need for balance in riding a bicycle helped them understand what is needed to control a flying machine.  McCullough mentions aviator and Wright competitor Henri Farman, who had been a championship bicycle rider.  And there is plenty about Glenn Curtiss who, like the Wrights, had been a bicycle mechanic.

So, there’s more to the cycling/aviation connection than I’d realized.  I also learned from McCullough’s book that Wilbur Wright had beenTour de france the history the legend the riders
in France during the summer of 1908 promoting the Flyer.  So, Wilbur Wright was in France during the sixth running of the Tour de France.  It seemed an obvious question whether bicycle enthusiast and mechanic Wilbur Wright was interested in, or even aware of, the Tour.

I started looking online and learned along the way that the Wrights had designed a type of self-lubricating hub, and that they also introduced the manufacturing practice of backwards threading the bolt holding the left bicycle pedal on. The problem they were solving was the tendency of left pedals to loosen with riding and fall off.  Reversing the thread’s path around the bolt allows the pedal action to keep the pedal tightly attached.

So far, although I’ve learned some interesting facts, I have not found an answer to my question (and perhaps there is none to be found.)  But along the way I found online excerpts of a book The Shattered Peloton: the Devastalanterne rougeting Impact of World War I on the Tour de France .  As the title suggests, it is about the early history of the Tour, and about the championship cyclists who joined the military.  Many joined the air corps (again, the bicycle/aviation connection,) and many did not survive the war.

The Denton Public Library does not own this book.  But this brings me back to the valuable library service I mentioned earlier – interlibrary loan (ILL).  If the Denton Public Library does n0t own an item you need, we can searchtour de france a cultural history the holdings of other libraries, throughout the world, for books and DVDs and CDs and more, and ask to borrow it through the mail.  If you have a full-service card with the Denton Public Library there is no fee for using this service.  You can even order ILL items from home. Simply go to our site,  .  Click the link to the left of the screen, “Search the Catalog.”  At the catalog click the link towards the top, “Interlibrary Loan,” and you’re off.  Of course, once the items are here you will need to come to the library to check them out.  We do stipulate that to use this service you not have any outstanding fines or overdue items on your account.  For more information, please call 349-8752.

So if you’re doing some research, or just interested in an item the Denton Public Library doesn’t own, check out interlibrary loan.  It will really expand your horizons.

P.S.  I found the Wright Brothers Aeroplane Co. very interesting


Fred – South Branch


Time for TRASHion Fashion!

It’s time to get ready for the 5th Annual TRASHion Fashion show!  Amazing fashions created from discarded materials will be parading the runway at the Denton Redbud Festival, April 23.  The Denton TRASHion Fashion Program is an award winning, comprehensive fashion design competition for all ages. Designers create wearable art made of items destined for the landfill or recycling. Participants become knowledgeable about problems associated with waste generation and then express them through fashion and artistic design.  The library has been a partner in the TRASHion Fashion show since its inception in 2012.  We are excited to continue our participation in 2016.

If you’ve been thinking about a great design, there is still time to register to participate.  Registration is open through February 29, 2016.  Click here to register

Workshops are scheduled to help designers and models prepare for the show.  All workshops take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and are held at SCRAP, 420 S. Bell Ave.

February 24-Embellishments & Accessories

March 7-Finishing Touches

March 22-Preparing Your Runway Factoid

The library will help conduct this workshop about researching and writing an informational statement for your design.  We’ll guide you through the process of writing an informational piece to complement their designs.  Participants will conduct research to gather information relevant to the materials they use, recycling, and the environment.  That research is then used to create a two or three sentence statement which will be read as models walk the runway.

April 4-Rehearsal & Model Workshop (This workshop is mandatory)

We look forward to seeing all the unique creations at the TRASHion Fashion show.

Jennifer Bekker
North Branch Library

In The Weeds 2.11.16 Ray Peterson

This might be a good subject for Denton-centric Trivia Night at a local pub. While doing research in the Denton Record-Chronicle about someone completely unrelated, I happened upon this front page story from 1961. By that time, Ray Peterson had several hits on the pop music charts including two in the Top 10 and was heading home to his family and birthplace in Denton for a belated Christmas reunion. He was born here on April 23, 1939 but apparently didn’t spend very much time in town, growing up in San Antonio. He had contracted polio as a child and, during his stay in the hospital in The Alamo City, sang for his fellow patients and thus began his musical career. The article states that his family lived on Panhandle Street and had recently moved back to his mother’s native Denton. By that time, however, he was performing at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas and touring the country.

Here he is looking rather Bobby Darin-ish:


So, the question is, why isn’t he better known in town? It’s true he really never lived here other than maybe his first couple years but, in that way, he resembles Sly Stone. Could it be the lack of local press? Searching the DR-C, I only find the article above and some Top 10 lists from the early 1960s mentioning him. Sly Stone went on to greater fame so maybe that prompted us to call him our own when he really barely is, as well.

One of his greatest hits was a morbid, schmalzy thing called “Tell Laura I Love Her” which recounts a doomed teenage romance involving stock car racing (really) and a $1000.00 prize. Here it is. There was quite a market for this genre of songs in the late-50s, early ’60s known as “teenage tragedy songs”, “death discs”, and my personal favorite,“splatter platters”. Elvis Presley covered one of his songs in the late 1960s, The Wonder of You, doing Ray the courtesy of asking him in advance if that would be OK. One thing no one could ever say about The King was that he wasn’t a gentleman. Elvis probably didn’t have to do this because Ray didn’t write the song nor did he likely own the rights to it but  professional courtesy was extended and they became friends.

Mr. Peterson eventually became a Baptist minister in the 1970s while also appearing on the oldies circuit. He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and died in Memphis in 2005.

Written by Chuck Voellinger, Emily Fowler Library.




Why do they have toys in the Library?

Have you wondered why you find all sorts of toys in the Children’s Area at the Denton Public Library? Because children learn by playing. Fred Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.” It is through pretend play that children develop their language and social skills. They speak in more complex ways, sometimes imitating adult language. They learn to negotiate with their peers about how to bring their vision of their imaginary world into being. They use play to develop their cognitive functions by exploring, manipulating, asking questions, and finding out how things work. Play is essential to a child’s development.

At each library location, you will find a variety of toys that facilitate language and literacy development through play. At Emily Fowler Central Library, there are puzzles, play kitchen with toy food, plates, cups and utensils, letter games, Duplo blocks, large building blocks, various manipulatives, and board books for reading.   At North Branch Library, there are letters with a magnet board, free-standing food market, play food, puppet playhouse, puzzles, puppets, building blocks, board books, and more early childhood toys. And at South Branch Library, there are puppets, puppet theater, letters with a magnet board, free-standing food market, play food, puzzles, Duplo blocks, board books, various early childhood toys, and a large interactive wall with various manipulatives mounted on it.IMG_1596

Puzzles and building blocks promote problem solving and develop fine motor movement, which is needed for writing. Letters and letter games promote letter awareness and identification, essential for reading. Dramatic Play, or acting out stories, is a way for children to show their feelings, learn vocabulary, express their ideas and creativity, learn independence, and learn new skills.  Children who engage in dramatic play show high levels of reasoning and motivational skills. “Puppets, the playhouse, play food, and the market give children a place to play together, and since children learn by playing, these toys and structures provide a solid educational opportunity for our youngest customers,” said Kerol Harrod, Public Services Librarian, North Branch Library.

The Interactive Wall at South Branch focuses on many aspects of pre-reading/early literacy.   “While reading is a very important aspect to literacy, for a young child, literacy is more than just reading…key literacy components include singing, writing, talking, and playing.  The literacy wall focuses on each of the skills.  The spinning wheel promotes writing (strengthening finger muscles), talking (spinning wheel has pictures to encourage children to tell a story), and playing.  The wall features different nursery rhymes and songs.  All of the activities featured on the wall promote literacy skills,” stated Rebecca Ivey, Public Services Librarian, South Branch Library.


Come visit any library location with your young child and engage in some creative play with them. You will help build your child’s cognitive and social skills and help lay the foundation for them to learn to read. And, hopefully, you both will have some fun.

Read More…

Stacey Irish-Keffer
Youth Services Librarian
Emily Fowler Central Library