Libraries Of The Lehigh Valley, PA

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I began this series several years ago, but I must have forgotten about it.  Now, however, I intend to continue and share the wonderful libraries that exist with this section of Eastern Pennsylvania.

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The Easton Public Library, located in the small city of Easton, PA, is a place that I loved as a youngster. I have been an avid reader since I was a small child, and this wonderful place gave me much solace and pleasure. When I was very small, we went to a branch library on South Side, Easton, and when I hit young teen years, I would walk the couple of miles to go to the library. It was worth every step.

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(georgefattell.blog)

Easton has about 25,000-27,000 people and is located on the banks of both the Delaware and the Lehigh Rivers, and it is the smallest of the cities that make up the majority of the Lehigh Valley, PA. It is in this small urban area that the Easton Public Library sits and serves a wide group of readers.

After many years, I recently visited this library with a friend who was doing research, and I was filled with both nostalgia and joy upon entering. It was hard to believe that I had not been into this place, where I had visited almost weekly for several years. I loved the visit, and while I do not know if You Can’t Go Home Again as suggested in the book by Thomas Wolfe, but I do know that you can return to libraries that you have loved!

I want to thank Sharon Gothard, a wonderful librarian, for her help with these images of the library, including pictures from both the present and the past.

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Thank you for joining me in this journey to a place that was deeply important to me as a young person. I will continue the series soon with another library from this area.

 

 

Happy Birthday To The United States Marine Corps!

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usmc

(https://wallpapercave.com)

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps, who are on this day 244 years old. This branch of the Armed Forces of the United States has a long and distinguished history.  They will always have a special place in my heart, because my father was a Marine in World War II.

The Marine Corps is a family, and I saw this clearly one day, when my father was dying of cancer. His body had become a tiny version of the man he had been. He had taken to wearing his Marine Corps cap, and two young men in their uniforms, clearly just out of boot camp, saw him. We had been out for a small meal in my home town of Easton, PA,  and they approached him and began a conversation with him about his experiences. Then one young man asked me with complete courtesy if it was okay if they borrowed him for a few hours, simply to talk with an older Marine. My father was delighted, and I knew he was in good hands. I came back later that afternoon to pick him up, and he was still there talking with the two youngsters.

When he stood to go, they saluted him. My heart was full, and I saw the great joy these two young men had given to a mortally ill, elderly man they had never known before. When he was leaving, they exchanged, “Semper Fi.”

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Quotations From Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream–A Play That Has Had An Enormous Impact On Me

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MND

(https://pixabay.com)

William Shakespeare has had a very large influence on my life. I have loved his work since the first time I saw this play as a 16 year old. It was performed by a traveling professional company at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. I was entranced by the physicality of the actors and the words of the production. Since that time, I have studied and seen as many of his plays as possible. Shakespeare was one of my areas of focus in graduate school at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare is one of my favorite plays, and I have had a life long connection with this work. I have read it, seen numerous productions, acted in it, directed it, studied it in college and graduate school, written about it, delivered a conference paper on it, and taught the play in college at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. So, you can see that I have had quite a relationship with this wonderful play.

If you ever have the opportunity to see a live production of this play, I hope you take advantage of it.

As a simple tribute to Shakespeare and this play, I offer a few quotations from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

“Captain of our fairy band,

 Helena is here at hand,

 And the youth, mistook by me,

 Pleading for a lover’s fee.

 Shall we their fond pageant see?

 Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

                                             (Act 3. Scene 2. Lines 110-115)

 

“I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was.”

                                             (Act 4. Scene 2. Lines 203-204)

 

“If we shadows have offended,

 Think but this, and all is mended,

 That you have but slumbered here

 While this visions did appear.

 And this weak and idle theme,

 No more yielding but a dream,

 Gentles, do not reprehend.

 If you pardon, we will mend.

 And, as I am an honest Puck,

 If we have unearned luck

 Now to scrape the serpent’s tongue,

 We will make amends ere long;

 Else the Puck a liar call.

 So, good night unto you all.

 Give me your hands, if we be friends,

 And Robin shall restore amends.” (Act 5. Scene 1. Lines 418-433)

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(https://pixabay.com)

New Series: Libraries and Book Stores of the Lehigh Valley, PA

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https://pixabay.com

As a resident of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, with Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton being the largest and most well known cities in the area, I feel that awe are blessed with an abundance of libraries and bookstores in this area.

lehigh valley

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehigh_Valley)

There has been much talk about readership slowing down, but I do not think that is true. I have heard statistics at the Writer’s Digest Conference this summer that approximately one million books are published every year. This number itself can vary widely depending on the source; for example, the website Worldometers says over 1,800,000 have been published this year.

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(https://pixabay.com)

Additionally, the number of independent bookstores continues to rise. According to Statista, the numbers have increased from 1,651 in 2009 to 2,321 in 2017. These numbers indicate clearly a desire for books to be read.  Certainly publishing continues to  change, but readership exists.

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(https://pixabay.com)

In the Lehigh Valley, PA, an abundance of libraries and bookstores serve the population of just over 700,000 people.

This post is an introduction to the series; in following posts, I will focus on a particular library or bookstore. I hope you enjoy them.

Works Cited

https://www.statista.com/statistics/282808/number-of-independent-bookstores-in-the-us/

http://www.worldometers.info/books/

 

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps

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usmc

(https://wallpapercave.com)

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps, who are on this day 242 years old. This branch of the Armed Forces of the United States has a long and distinguished history.  They will always have a special place in my heart, because my father was a Marine in World War II.

The Marine Corps is a family, and I saw this clearly one day, when my father was dying of cancer. His body had become a tiny version of the man he had been. He had taken to wearing his Marine Corps cap, and two young men in their uniforms, clearly just out of boot camp, saw him. We had been out for a small meal in my home town of Easton, PA,  and they approached him and began a conversation with him about his experiences. Then one young man asked me with complete courtesy if it was okay if they borrowed him for a few hours, simply to talk with an older Marine. My father was delighted, and I knew he was in good hands. I came back later that afternoon to pick him up, and he was still there talking with the two youngsters.

When he stood to go, they saluted him. My heart was full, and I saw the great joy these two young men had given to a mortally ill, elderly man they had never known before. When he was leaving, they exchanged, “Semper Fi.”

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps.