1993 was a strange year, but then so is every year.

Well, it was.

I just ran across numerous articles while looking for a photo of a junior varsity player catching a football – which I didn’t find –  and instead kept coming across articles that really brought back some memories for me. Scrolling through the September reel of the Denton Record-Chronicle on our microfilm scanner could have taken forever if I had read everything which is why I scanned some things and made myself skip the rest.

So that is why I chose September of 1993. It is very interesting to look back at your life using the local newspaper as a lens. All these things that took place while you slept, ate, worked or went to school. Maybe you heard about ’em – maybe you didn’t – or had some vague memory that they happened. Or, perhaps you are the consummate storyteller and have made that particular memory something quite fine and your own.

Here are a few things I saved – some of which mean a little something to me  – and all of them have nothing to do with the year 2016.


I frequently saw the Hare Krishnas on Fry Street around this time period (I think they lived in the old white two-story house next to the Headshop.) – I remember them being very nice. I should have accepted their offer for a bowl of lentils, but I was always too shy.


Not much to say about this, but El Matador has been around for a while.


This really makes me giggle. I remember being intimidated by his mustache, but was glad Officer Paul was around as I do remember some head-banging (literally) back then.


A friend told me that there was crazy goose that lived on one of these FM roads who would chase after cyclists – I think terrorized them was more of the word that they used. Just one of the many thrills of riding a bike in the country – ‘er, um, anywhere actually.

I have to stop and go back to work now. It is fun to dabble in time; run your fingers through it.

Leslie Couture,
Special Collections, Emily Fowler Central Library

So this is the New Year…


A new year often sees us making resolutions about things we would like to change or improve upon in our lives.  I personally have never been that great at keeping resolutions, so I have created several ongoing goals that I can gradually work toward.  New Year’s goals do not have to be new; they can be goals carried over from year to year to be tweaked and improved upon.  (Improve the improvements!)  New Year’s goal can be something as simple as trying or learning something new.  And part of achieving these goals is having the right mindset and being informed about the best way to achieve what you want.  Be realistic and don’t expect unrealistic results.  Do some research on what it is you’re interested in doing.

A good place to get the information you need is at your local library!  (In this case, the Denton Public Library.)  Even if you don’t have a library card, you are still welcome to come to any of our free classes and events or make use of our collection to find the information you are looking for.  And with a library card, you are able to not only check library items out, but also to access any of our free databases!  


Classes and Events:


(Look for some really great programs that include a women’s conference, genealogy and business classes, indulging in chocolate, mindfulness and home organizing workshops and worm composting!)



(Learn a new language with Pronunciator, update your resume and interviewing skills with Job and Career Accelerator, brush up on or learn new technology with Lynda.com, search for new crafts to do with Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center, prepare for your test with our Test Prep Collection or begin finding out about your ancestors with Family Search!)

Library Catalog:


(You can also access digital material (eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and Movies) with Overdrivehoopla and Zinio!)

———————-HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!———————-

Dawn Terrizzi
Emily Fowler Central Library

Help Yourself!

My ability to explore the world around me through reading was one of the most exciting parts of growing up. I was fascinated with finding out more about everything. I wanted to learn more about other cultures, religions, the life experiences of others, and how to better myself as an individual. The best part about it, is I was able to do all of these things right at my local library!

Today, I still receive great joy from learning and acquiring new skills. Denton Public Library has continuously been a great resource for accessing the latest self-help books from some of the world’s most experienced and knowledgeable religious leaders, celebrities, and gurus. The knowledge I have acquired from reading has helped me in many areas of my life. So help yourself to some of our various types of self-help books, and if you’re always on the go feel free to check out some of our audiobooks as well!


Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss


Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne


Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Convey


Reposition Yourself: Living Life Without Limits by T.D. Jakes


Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion by Pema Chödrön

Chassidy Miles
Emily Fowler Central Library

Of course it’s a Christmas Movie!

I recently had someone I cherish tell me over the phone, “It has been a difficult year.” I think there are moments in every year, month, week, or day that make it seem more difficult compared to others. However, I think this person is right, this year has been difficult. It seems most events this year highlighted differences rather than commonalty.  I like as President Kennedy once spoke to “direct attention to our common interests.” But, even as I strive towards such a mindset, I am reminded that I have strongly held beliefs that I will not budge on. Not….one….bit. Such as, is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

Die Hard

Of course, it is a Christmas movie. How could it not be? It starts with a Christmas party. It has a Santa hat used as an important prop. It has “ho, ho, ho” uttered at an important point in the film. Most important of all, it teaches a common holiday theme of good will towards fellow humans, after we deal with these terrorists. I could go on, but you get my point.

Now to those who think otherwise, I’ll grant you, “Shoot the glass,” is not found in most other holiday films. But, it’s a line that really should be added to every holiday classic. “Shoot the glass Frosty” would definitely liven up that tale and probably would have helped Frosty out in the greenhouse.

Speaking of that memorable line from Die Hard, the actor who uttered the dialogue as the villainous, Hans Gruber is someone we lost this year. Die Hard was in fact the late Alan Rickman’s first American movie, but it would not be his last. Take a look at what the library has to offer of this actor’s incredible body of work. Watch just a handful of his work and you’ll shake your head that the actor never even got nominated for an Academy Award. If nothing else he should have been nominated for Best Villain in a Christmas movie, right?

Jess Edward Turner
South Branch Library

Holiday Help

The holidays are officially upon us.  If you are still looking for some gift giving ideas or activities to keep the family entertained, the Denton Public Library can help.

There is still plenty of time to make gifts and avoid the stress of last minute Christmas shopping.  Everyone loves home cooked dishes or baked goods.  Mix in a little love and you have a delicious gift that everyone will enjoy.  Have your children or grandchildren help with the cooking to make it a family activity.

christmas-gifts-from-the-kitchen the-cook-book holiday-crafting-and-baking-with-kids good-pantry edible-diy creative-kitchen christmas-recipes-crafts

Use your artistic or crafting skills to make something unique and special.

your-sharpie-style woodburning washi-wonderful stitched-whimsy fun-christmas-crafts-to-make-and-bake 101-great-gifts-kids-can-make

If you are a great planner and have already completed your holiday shopping, you might be interested in some family activities to keep everyone busy or entertained during the holiday break.

the-book-of-what-if geek-dadunbored

We can also help you survive the holiday season with a smile.  We’ve got some holiday humor and advice to help you cope with any holiday stress or frustration you might encounter.

a-christmas-story spending-the-holidays-with-people keep-the-happy-in-your-holidays

If you find yourself in a crunch, remember that you can access the library’s digital resources even if the library is closed.  We provide a broad range of ebooks and eaudiobooks with Overdrive.  Hoopla has ebooks, eaudiobooks, music, streaming T.V. shows and movies.

Happy holidays!

Jennifer Bekker
North Branch Library

Letters to Santa

Transcribed from the Denton Record Chronicle (1909-1923)

Writing letters to Santa Claus is a delightful childhood tradition. Most of the time the letters are simple lists of toys, candy, or other much dreamed of items. But mingled among the requests for dolls and firecrackers one can find a glimpse into history.

Letters to Santa, published from 1909-1923 in the Denton Record-Chronicle, have been transcribed and are now available on the library’s  Genealogy and Local History resources page. The project was started by retired Librarian Kathy Strauss and completed by Ethan Seal as his Eagle Scout project. The index lists: the name of the child who wrote the letter, their address (if given), the content of their letter, and the citation for the issue of the DRC in which it was printed.

Each December the children of Denton would write their letter to Santa and send it to the Denton Record-Chronicle. The editor would then publish the letters and “send a copy of the paper to the North Pole for Santa to read.” The DRC was not the only business in town to support and encourage the letter writing program.  In one example from 1913 Evers Hardware hosted Santa himself in a visit to the store with candy and a present for every child that wrote a letter in care of Evers Hardware.

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The letters are both predictable and surprising.  The children ask for items for themselves, but many also include family members and friends in their wishes. Events in the community or world-wide troubles are also mentioned in the children’s letters.

In 1915 the children were not only writing letters to Santa, but actively campaigning to have sidewalks installed by the Sam Houston School. A number of the children’s letters ask Santa for the sidewalks. Miss Elsie Wynn’s request put it quite nicely:

“Dear Santa Claus: Please bring the Sam Houston School some sidewalks. Better bring them in a boat so you won’t sink in the mud. Bring them from the Sam Houston School to Oak Street, and if you have any left, lay one on the south. Your friend, Elsie Wynn.”

Interestingly, also in 1915 there must have been a Scarlet Fever outbreak in Denton. Quite a few letters from that year mention that they, or someone they know, has had the disease. Annie Laura Cannon wrote:

“Dear Santa Claus: please bring me a bottle of perfume, a pretty doll, a little umbrella, a little sewing machine, a popcorn popper, a little piano, beauty pins, crochet hook, two packages of sparklers, oranges, apples, bananas, nuts of all kinds. Your little friend. P.S. – You need not bring us any candy. We are going to make our Christmas candy. We have the scarlet fever, and if you are afraid to come in, just leave the things on the front porch.”

Many of the letters ask Santa to “remember the orphans”. This is especially evident in the letters from 1916-1920, as the children recognize the communities ravaged by WWI.  There are many letters that ask for Santa to remember children without families closer to home. Bennie Margaret Klepper wrote in 1914:

“I want you to go to Buckner’s Orphan Home and take all the little children something, and be sure and go where they are playing war, and take all the little children something. I have three brothers. Be sure and come to see them. One of my brothers is in heaven. Bring me something to go on his grave, and don’t forget my mamma and papa, and if you have anything left, I would like a cow-girl suit and a sleepy doll. I go to Sunday school every Sunday and help mamma work. I thank you ever so much. You are so good, I know I will get all I ask for.”

Not only do the letters provide a glimpse into history, they may also have clues for people researching their family history. Occasionally people disappear leaving no trace about what happened to them. Did they move away, did they change a name, or did they die? Sometimes these questions are never answered. The children often write about their life in the letters, like in the one written by Cate and Robert Maples in 1914 which provides a clue about the death of their mother.

“We are two little orphan children. Our mamma is dead. She died not long ago. Send us anything you have for us. I guess Christmas will be dull with us so bring us some candy, fruit and nuts and anything else.”

Since the index transcribes letters from multiple years, for some children there are letters published in sequential years.  Such is the case for the Shepard family. Harwell Shepard’s letters were published from 1912 to 1918.  I wonder if he got this little car from Santa Claus?


Harwell Shepard, 1908. Photo courtesy of Sandy Shepard.

During December, the Emily Fowler Central Library is hosting a display  in the Special Collections Department featuring Letters to Santa. Come by and visit, or take a look at the document online. You just might find someone you know.

Laura Douglas
Special Collections – Emily Fowler Central Library






Be a “Santa” for Future Pets

A Christmas tree benefitting the pets at the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center is ready for donations from Santa’s helpers at the Emily Fowler Central Library.  Some of the items most needed to help with the care of pets awaiting adoption at the shelter are:

  • Clay cat litter
  • Newspapers
  • Sheba Pate (minced) wet cat foodpet-tree
  • Purina Cat Chow – Dry adult cat food
  • Purina ONE Cat Chow (dry)
  • Purina Kitten Chow (dry)
  • Puppy Chow (dry)
  • Small breed dog food (dry)
  • Large breed dry dog food
  • Bleach
  • HE (High Efficiency) Laundry Detergent
  • Dawn Dish Soap
  • Small fleece blankets
  • Bath towels
  • Wash cloths

Customers can place items under the tree during regular library hours, Mon. Wed. Fri. and Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tue. and Thur. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays until New Year’s Day.

For more information, please e-mail Laura.Douglas@cityofdenton.com.


Just some of the donations collected at the 2015 Pet Santa Tree.