The Pointe

MidPointe Library's Official Blog

Historian's Interest in Aviation Remains High

This month MidPointe Library is recognizing the long relationship between the city of Middletown, Ohio, and the vibrant aviation industry that was Aeronca and is now known as Magellan Aerospace. The adjacent Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field has been an integral part of that historic relationship...

Middletown, Ohio, Historian Roger Miller knows a lot about the city from the ground up...way, way up.

In fact, as a teenager, Miller himself made history there.

At seventeen years old with a single-engine land license, Miller was described as “the youngest licensed pilot in Middletown” in an April 1957  article in the “Middletonian,” the Middletown High School student newspaper. Miller believes the moniker was originally bestowed on him by George “JR” Wedekind Jr., a leader in local aviation and the son of George “Pappy” Wedekind Sr., who in the 1920s opened what was then known as Middletown Municipal Airport. Today its official name is Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field.

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The article recounted young Miller’s “exciting adventure that took place in the skies above Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.” Flying a Cessna 140 that belonged to a flying club, Miller flew to Lexington and Louisville with Columbus, Indiana, as his destination. Unfortunately, he ended up in Bedford, Indiana, due to an incorrect compass heading and strong winds that blew the plane off course.

But the intrepid young pilot was undaunted. Miller decided to fly to Interstate 70 because, he explains, “by going east I would come to places that I knew. It was not hard to find Middletown. Armco put out a nice red cloud of smoke that could be seen for miles.”

Asked to comment on his student’s aerial adventure, Herman H. Lawrence, then Assistant Principal and Dean of Boys, offered this succinct quote : “He had a lost weekend.”

Recalling the experience today, Miller says he “had a lot of training, which probably helped” the situation. After all, he worked at the airport during high school and started flying at his first legal opportunity -- the age of sixteen.

Young Miller’s fondness of flying was apparent. “I enjoy flying more than anything else,” he was quoted in the article. “I work at the airport and when I’m off, I fly or work on the airplane. Sometimes I fly during lunch hours or go to Hamilton for lunch.” At the time the article was published, the young pilot was planning to take his father on a fishing trip in northern Michigan.

Accompanying the school article was a photo of Miller inside a plane. However, that was not the plane Miller had flown on his eventful “weekend.”  The plane in the newspaper photo was owned by Middletonian Art Draut and family, he clarifies, adding at the time that he belonged to a flying club that owned a similar plane. Karen Draut wrote the article and took the photo.

Miller has fond memories of working at the airport as a high school student.

“There were a lot of good people in aviation who helped me as I learned... and afterwards,” he says. He remembers working with fellow high schoolers Dave Fagan and Bob Charles. “We were called ‘hangar boys’ or ‘line boys’ and worked a limited number of hours. In the summer we could work more than during school, when we were limited to after school and weekends…

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“Bob McNutt was somewhat in charge of us and made out our schedules. Most of the time the two of us worked together,” Miller continues. McNutt, he adds, was part-owner of an airplane and later flew a Beechcraft King Air plane for the Dupps Company of Germantown.

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The teens’ duties included “refueling and servicing various airplanes, moving them in and out of hangars, performing oil changes, washing and spraying down engines, keeping the hangar and office clean, and closing up at night,” recalls Miller.

“Because I was interested in airplanes, I got to do some maintenance” at the airport, Miller adds. “Armco was the big customer, next was Gardner Board and Carton. Both had bigger airplanes, which we could not move...Even when I was off, I spent a lot of time at the airport,” he says.

Miller’s love of flight took off in 1955. He began taking lessons from Jimmy Clark, an employee of the Queen City Flying Service, the operator of the Middletown airport. He remembers Clark being apprehensive about allowing “such a young person” to solo even though Miller had been taking “a lot of dual instruction” which was unusual at the time.

The solution arrived in the person of “Red” Stewart of Waynesville. Miller took a one-hour lesson from Stewart, who then gave the all-clear for Miller’s first solo flight. On his next flight with Clark, Miller soloed. To this day he remembers the date he received his flying license : March 22, 1957.

Miller’s association with the airport provided an opportunity to meet flying enthusiasts, local pilots and mechanics and see interesting aircraft. He has vivid memories of:

Admiring the 1929 Davis open cockpit plane owned by mechanic Cal Wallace. “I badly wanted to fly” that plane, Miller says. “It never happened.”

Seeing the Fulton Airphibian,* a 1940s automobile that could be converted into a plane by attaching the wings that came with it. He watched the vehicle “land at the airport and taxi up next to the hangar, in a few minutes remove its wings and then drive away. I believe they were trying to get Aeronca interested in building them…” Miller recalls.

Relishing “getting to help and know people” and their planes. He fondly recalls Lloyd Sink (Stinson airplane), George Chippendale (Aeronca Scout and a Swift, which Miller got to ride in on several occasions), Homer Leffler (Beechcraft Bonanza), Dale Converse (Cessna 170), and Mel Hodgdon and Louie Gaston (each had a Piper Tripacer).

“Mel Hodgdon was an early bird pilot,” Miller says. “He first flew in 1912. Being interested in history and aviation, I wish I had known him much better than I did. After his death I did talk to his wife and copied some early photographs of some of his activities. Louie Gaston worked at Armco and operated a small airport on land that became part of Armco’s Project 600. Dr. Winfield R. Steele had a Piper Tripacer. He was my eye doctor and every time I went to him we ended up talking airplanes,” Miller recalls.

When Miller returned from serving in the Air Force (he was a jet engine mechanic), he observed many changes at the airport. They included “a hard surface runway, Armco’s big hangar and fleet of planes, etc.”  At that point in time Miller became “very interested in the airport’s history.”

At one time Miller “had hopes of making aviation a career,” he says, but he found employment elsewhere. However, parts of Miller’s working life did relate to aviation.

Miller worked at Armco in the summer of 1957, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1957 to 1962, returned to Armco but was eventually laid off. He did “some work” for Wedekind Aircraft in Middletown, spent a year at Ohio Aviation at Dayton Airport, ran a gas station for a year and returned again to Armco in 1965, retiring in 1995 as a maintenance foreman.

Although Miller has never owned a plane (“cannot afford it”) he’s belonged to lots of flying clubs, especially while he was in the service. He no longer is a member of a club.

To many in the Middletown area, however, Miller is the go-to man for the facts on local history, having spent years cataloging the voluminous works of the late Middletown Historian George C. Crout. The Crout collection is now housed at MidPointe Library Middletown and is available for viewing at http://www.midpointedigitalarchives.org/digital/ .

Miller was named a Distinguished Historian by the Butler County Historical Society and is the author or co-author of several books on local history, also available at MidPointe Library.

Not surprisingly, the aviator in Miller still surfaces to this day. He’s a regular at the Biannual National Aeronca Association Convention and Fly-In at the place that once seemed like home, the Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field. The latest Fly-In took place this month.

At the Fly-In Miller enjoys looking for “the rare Aeroncas.” He recalls the time he saw an “Aeronca C-2 at one [Fly-in]. It was one of the first airplanes built by Aeronca. The C-3’s and the L’s are of interest. Some of the people who fly to the event come in older, usual, and/or homebuilt airplanes. I enjoy them all.”

That’s to be expected from a man with the soul of a pilot.

A pictorial exhibit celebrating Middletown, Ohio’s 78-year relationship with the aviation/aerospace industry will be available for viewing  through September at MidPointe Library, Middletown. A companion exhibit on the library’s interactive touchscreen accompanies the exhibit.

The exhibits highlight the history of Aeronca, a longtime Middletown employer now known as Magellan Aerospace. They also recall the vital role that nearby Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field played in local aviation.

Visitors will find the displays easily by looking for a replica of the colorful Aeronca 7AC Champion plane suspended above the library’s Local History and Genealogy Gallery. The 7AC was one of several popular, private-use planes produced in the post-war era at Aeronca-Middletown before the company became a leader in the aerospace industry.

The Aeronca photo and interactive exhibits will be available for viewing Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ; Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ; and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

* Fulton Airphibian information from Wikipedia

Local Author Profile - On the Working Class, Writing and the Joys of Jujyfruit

Growing up “working class” in Middletown, Ohio, was a positive for nationally-known author Tamara Draut.

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Indeed, for this steelworker’s daughter and 1989 Middletown High grad, it provided a path to college and a future of opportunity.

Specifically, it led to a life’s calling and a writing career focused on the financial decline of that very same working class and the loss of promise it once held for families like hers.

Today, as vice president of policy and research at the national think tank Demos, Tamara Draut studies the plight of the working class and develops policies aimed at alleviating its struggle. She describes Demos, located in New York City, as a “public policy organization that works to address economic, political and racial inequality through policy advocacy, litigation, research and strategic communications…”

Tamara’s commitment to the cause of the working class is revealed in two books she’s written. Both were published by Doubleday.

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In “Strapped” (published 2005) she says she “wanted to understand why it had become so much harder for young people to get ahead-- especially young people without college degrees.” In “Sleeping Giant : How the New Working Class Will Transform America” (2016) she “continued to explore the decline in living standards for working class people and what we can and should be doing to ensure all jobs in this country are good jobs and that all work is valued…”

A revised and updated version of the latter book, “Sleeping Giant: the Untapped Economic and Political Power of America’s New Working Class,” is now available in paperback.

For the daughter of Sally Colvin and the late Robert Draut Jr., the quest is personal.

“My interest in this area comes from my own experience growing up working class, being the first in my family to graduate from college, and then working and educating my way into the professional middle class,” says the native Middletonian who attended Rosedale Elementary, Vail Middle and Middletown High schools.

“I realized the opportunities provided to me -- through the earning power of my parents and the low cost of state tuition back then -- were no longer available for a new generation,” she states. “Today working class jobs are underpaid, devalued and non-union, unlike those of my mom and dad’s generation.”

Tamara recalls her father working “at Armco [Steel] his whole life. My mom returned to work as an office manager when my youngest brother entered school. Together, they were able to pay for my tuition, room and board at Ohio University. I graduated in four years with zero debt, and only worked during breaks” waiting tables at Damon’s restaurant.

Tamara graduated from OU in 1993 and moved to New York City the following year.

“My interest in public policy and politics grew out of a deep sense of growing unfairness in American society, and a desire to do something about it,” she says. “I originally worked in advertising, then changed careers to work in public policy.”

After receiving a master’s degree from New York’s Columbia University in 2001, she found like minds at Demos.

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Tamara’s passion for the state of America’s working men and women is unrelenting. She states firmly : “This is what I believe about the strivers and dreamers of America : that no matter where we come from or what our color, most of us work hard for our families.

“But today certain politicians and their greedy lobbyists are rigging the rules in their favor by handing kickbacks to the rich, defunding our schools, and rolling back our rights to join together in union in the workplace. Sadly, these same greedy politicians then turn around and point the finger for our hard times at poor families, Black people and new immigrants.

“But we can fight back if we join together. Just like we did when we won better wages, safer workplaces, and civil rights in our past, I believe that by joining together, we can elect new leaders who work for all of us, not just the privileged few. That’s the America I believe in and the one I fight for every day.”

When asked about the process of writing, Tamara admits she finds the experience “agonizing. There’s a famous quote, I believe by Dorothy Parker, that exclaims ‘I hate writing, I love having written.’ That’s how I feel about writing…”

While writing both books, Tamara confronted “pretty intense deadlines -- nine months to one year -- to deliver the first draft…”

“Before I write a word, I do all my research and talk with the folks whose stories I’ll share in the book,” she says. “Once I have all that together, I start writing. I tend to write in long stretches -- maybe four or five hours -- but with lots of little breaks along the way…”

But help is close at hand. “When I’m really burned out and can’t get the words to come out, I reach for my secret weapon : Jujyfruits. They haven’t failed me yet,” she declares.

“I’m not gonna lie,” Tamara admits about the process of writing. “It’s brutal. But it is worth it, especially when I hear from readers that the book touched them in some way.”

Tamara Draut lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, New York. Her research has been covered by dozens of newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Her writing has appeared in The Hill, The San Francisco Chronicle, The American Prospect, The Boston Globe and The Boston Review. She is a frequent television commentator and has appeared on the Colbert Report, Today Show, CNN, Fox News, 20/20, MSNBC and many others. (From Demos website).

http://www.demos.org/tamara-draut

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“Sleeping Giant : How The New Working Class Will Transform America” and “Strapped : Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead” are available at MidPointe Library.

 

Rock Royalty and Reading This Summer at MidPointe!

They’re both British and referred to as “Sir.”

 

They’re celebrating birthdays this summer.

 

They hail from the same seaport town and became known all over the world not only for their music, but also their hair.

 

And they can be found at MidPointe Library, comfortably tucked amid its extensive “rock collection.”

 

If you’ve lived on Planet Earth for any significant amount of time, then you know we’re referring to Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Richard Starkey -- aka Ringo Starr -- members of the Beatles, the most famous rock band of all time (author’s perspective, of course).

 

But you want to know more.

 

You’re in luck! Now’s the best time to learn about Paul, Ringo and other Rock Royalty during MidPointe Library’s free Summer Reading Program for all ages. This year’s program is themed -- appropriately -- “Libraries Rock!”

 

The popular program is running now through July 31 at each MidPointe location : Middletown, West Chester, Trenton and Monroe (and the Bookmobile too!). This year’s program is sponsored by the Journal News.

 

A decades-long tradition, “Summer Reading” encourages everyone from birth to age 18 and adults 18 and older to visit their nearest MidPointe Library, check out books and-or audiobooks of any topic and keep track of their reading or listening on paper or online. Prizes will be awarded for effort. A grand prize drawing will take place. Fun programs are offered at each location and a free, live, family-friendly music concert series is on the agenda.

 

If rock ‘n’ roll’s your thing, you’re in luck. MidPointe is stocked with books, biographies, audiobooks about so many of your favorites -- not to mention CDs, DVDs, audio downloads, musical and vocal scores featuring many of the world’s top rockers.

 

Read a biography of Paul on his birthday, June 18, or of Ringo on his, July 7. Download Beatles music through the MidPointe website or check out a Beatles’ DVD of “A Hard Day’s Night” or “Help!”

 

Individuals can sign up for Summer Reading anytime now through July 31 by obtaining a reading log at any MidPointe location or by logging on to  http://www.midpointelibrary.org/

 

“All you need is...” a free library card, which can be obtained at any MidPointe location. Hopefully the “love” will follow.

 

In keeping with Summer Reading’s musical theme, MidPointe has added a free, live and family-friendly music concert series to the traditional mix of activities. Concerts will be presented :
 

 

  • Wednesday, June 20, 7:30-8:30 p.m. @ MidPointe Trenton lawn (Community Room if inclement weather). Performers: Paradise Crossing. Genre: classic rock, country.

 

  • Thursday, June 21, 6-6:45 p.m. @ MidPointe Monroe front lawn.  Tony Hale and Blackwater. Genre: bluegrass.

 

  • Thursday, June 28, 6:30-8 p.m. @ MidPointe Middletown Community Room.  Performers: HR Nightmare acoustic guitar duo. Genre: 70s, 80s, 90s hits.    

 

  • Thursday, July 12, 7:30-8:30 p.m. @ MidPointe Trenton lawn. (Community Room if inclement weather). Performer: Samuel Day and band. Genre: Christian rock, dance pop.

 

  • Wednesday, July 18, 7-8:30 p.m. @ MidPointe Trenton lawn. Performers: Just Friends Jazz Quartet (Jeff Slinker, Roger Bowman and Edgewood band directors Nick Fields and Jon Arnold). Genre: traditional jazz in the styles of swing, bebop, bossa nova, Latin, ballads, blues.

 

See you at “Summer Reading!”  And don’t forget : “Libraries Rock!”

 

It's Not a Bird... It's Not Any Old Plane... It's an AERONCA!

Earth and Sky will converge this weekend in Middletown, Ohio.

That’s when Aeronca airplanes and enthusiasts from all over North America will return to the hallowed ground of Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field for the 19th Biannual National Aeronca Association Convention and Fly-In. The event takes place Friday through Sunday, June 15-17.

The relationship between the local airport and Aeronca planes began in the early 1940’s, when plane manufacturer, the Aeronautical Corporation of America (later shortened to Aeronca), left its flooded headquarters near the swollen Ohio River in Cincinnati for a more accommodating location next door to the Middletown, Ohio, airport.

It was the start of a perfect relationship that’s still celebrated today.

And celebrate they will.

The Aeronca Fly-In of original, restored and new Aeronca planes will take place at the Middletown airport, still adjacent to the former Aeronca manufacturing plant. Today the company is known as Magellan Aerospace. A tour of the plant is on the Fly-In agenda.

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Just like a family reunion, the Fly-In is the place for pilots and Aeronca enthusiasts to meet, greet, dine, take tours, snap photos and listen to guest speakers, all the while basking in a shared fondness of the colorful aircraft that put Middletown, Ohio, on the small plane aviation map. A panoramic photo of the planes is also on the agenda.

This year’s special guests include Susan Dusenbury, Director of the Vintage Aircraft Association; Bill Pancake, aviation restoration expert; and the Aeronca Gliders with Craig MacVeigh, registered owner of CG-1, the first Aeronca glider to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

A banquet at the American Legion Post 218 Hall on South Main Street will conclude the event on Saturday evening.

Attendees aren’t the only ones who enjoy the Fly-In. In what has become a biannual summer tradition, members of the public find just the right spots around town to watch the “Aeroncas” arrive and depart.

This year’s assortment of visiting aircraft is expected to include Aeroncas built between 1928 and 1940 in Cincinnati, 1940 and 1951 in Middletown, and those built later by companies such as Champion Aircraft Corporation, which in 1954 purchased the rights to Aeronca’s Model 7 Champion airplanes and returned them to production.

So grab a lawn chair and binoculars and feast your eyes on Middletown skies and aviation history this weekend!

A pictorial exhibit celebrating Middletown, Ohio’s 78-year relationship with the aviation/aerospace industry will be available for viewing  through September at MidPointe Library, Middletown. A companion exhibit on the library’s interactive touchscreen accompanies the exhibit.

The exhibits highlight the history of Aeronca, a longtime Middletown employer now known as Magellan Aerospace. They also recall the vital role that nearby Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field played in local aviation.

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Visitors will find the displays easily by looking for a replica of the colorful Aeronca 7AC Champion plane suspended above the library’s Local History and Genealogy Gallery. The 7AC was one of several popular, private-use planes produced in the post-war era at Aeronca-Middletown before the company became a leader in the aerospace industry.

The Aeronca photo and interactive exhibits will be available for viewing Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ; Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ; and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

MidPointe Library is located at 125 South Broad Street, Middletown.

“Aeronca, a Photo History” by Bob Hollenbaugh and John Houser and “Aeronca C-2, The Story of the Flying Bathtub” by Jay P. Spenser are available for reading in the Ohio Room adjacent to the Local History and Genealogy Gallery.

How Can "Summer Bridge" Help Your Family?

What comes to mind when you hear the words “Summer Bridge”?

A quaint covered bridge spanning a country stream? A game of “Bridge” enjoyed on a sunny back porch?

To many parents, educators and librarians, however, “Summer Bridge” is a series of inviting, colorful and educational workbooks designed to help students “bridge” their learning from one grade level to the next during summer vacation or any time review is needed. Books from the series are available at MidPointe Library.

Their goal, like that of MidPointe’s current Summer Reading Program, is to prevent “summer slide,” learning loss that students experience from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next.

A “Summer Bridge” introduction explains the objective of the book series : “... to prevent learning loss and keep your child thinking, doing, and creating throughout the summer...Practice pages review skills your child learned” in the previous grade and preview those for the next grade…”

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“Real-world explorations” are encouraged, allowing children to use their imaginations, apply learning skills and also enjoy the outdoors.

Two related series, “Summer Bridge Activities” and “Original Summer Bridge Activities,” are also available at MidPointe.

Preventing “summer slide” is the major goal of MidPointe Library’s free and fun “Summer Reading Program” underway now through July 31 at each of its four locations : Middletown, West Chester, Trenton and Monroe. The theme is “Libraries Rock!”

Former teacher and now MidPointe librarian, Ally Doliboa knows first-hand the effects a summer break can have on schoolchildren.

“I started out as a teacher. Now I’m a librarian, seeing the effects of summer on children in elementary school,” said Ms. Doliboa, Youth Services Team Leader at MidPointe’s Middletown location. “It takes many weeks to regain the skills that students have lost [during the summer] -- which means learning new concepts gets pushed back due to focusing on old concepts that students forgot from the previous school year...

“The results of this ‘summer slide’ are shocking, but the good news is there’s a solution to this problem : reading during summer. While most students think they have the summer off, they can’t forget how important it is to pick up a book or two or more during that time.”

One of MidPointe’s most highly attended activities, “Summer Reading” encourages kids, teens and adults to visit their nearest MidPointe library, check out books or audiobooks of personal interest, keep track of their reading/listening and receive prizes for their accomplishments. They’re also invited to attend fun programs with special guests -- animal and human -- as well as live music concerts at all MidPointe locations. All activities are free.

For more information about MidPointe Library’s Summer Reading Program  and the Summer Bridge book series, go to www.midpointelibrary.org.

**From “Summer Bridge Explorations, Bridging Grades 3 to 4, Carson Dellosa Publishing Group, 2015, Page v.

Fun for Teens at All MidPointe Locations this Summer!

Calling all older kids and teens!

Where can you play games, confront your “Fear Factor,” make time for Minecraft, get your “Bob Ross” on, learn to code and name that musical?

At MidPointe Library! Where else?

Now wipe those looks of doubt from your faces and get with the program --  

MidPointe Library’s free annual Summer Reading Program, that is. The decades-long salute to summer is open to all ages from birth through adult now through July 31 at all four MidPointe locations.  This year’s program is themed “Libraries Rock!” (an apt description if there ever was one).

There’s something for everybody at “Summer Reading.” Children, teens and adults participate in the program by keeping track of what books they’ve read or the audiobooks they’ve listened to. Younger children can participate if books are read to them. Prizes are awarded for  reading/listening efforts. Grand prizes are also awarded.

MidPointe’s Summer Reading is divided into the following age groups: birth through pre-kindergarten, kindergarten through grade 5, and young adult (those entering grades 6-12). The adult program is for individuals 18 and older.

But reading isn’t the only item on our summer agenda. This year’s schedule includes fun activities, special guests (human and animal) and a live music concert series at all four MidPointe locations.

In fact, a rockin’ huge variety of programs for older children and teens can be found at all locations:

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MidPointe Middletown :  Discover a little bit of everything from dressing as your favorite book character to facing your fears and overcoming “the impossible!” You can also create your own jewelry, keychains, tie-dye T-shirts and crocheted blanket. And that’s not all.

MidPointe West Chester : Extract DNA from fruit, create fun stuff like sticker art, wearable art in the form of buttons and a terrarium, craft with shrink plastic, paint canvas panels a’la Bob Ross and show off your knowledge of Harry Potter. That’s still not all!

MidPointe Trenton : Turn an ordinary T-shirt into a work of art, give yoga a chance, play board games, compete in a lip sync battle, meet up with fellow writers and “Name That Musical.” But wait! There’s more!

MidPointe Monroe : Make scented bath salts, code creatively, get in a little Minecraft and test-drive the newest board games. Fall in love with acrylic flow painting. See, we told you there was more!

These are just a few of the activities awaiting your presence at Summer Reading! Some activities will be presented at more than one location. Registration is required for several events.

To check out the entire Summer Reading Program schedule log on to the  MidPointe Library website at www.midpiontelibrary.org > Events. Click on activities you’re interested in and register if required.

In the meantime, rock on!

Local History #tbt blog - A Piece of Middletown History Soars at the Smithsonian

Did you know that a piece of local aviation history has found a home in one of the most prestigious museums in the world?

The Aeronca C-2, manufactured by the local company of the same name (formerly the Aeronautical Corporation of America now known as Magellan Aerospace), occupies air space in a companion facility of the renowned Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The historic plane is located in Chantilly, Virginia, at the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Suspended above visitors from around the world, the C-2 still proudly bears registration number X626N and the bright orange and yellow colors with the “rakish stripe running the length of the fuselage.” Its maiden flight took place on October 20, 1929. *

The C-2 harkens back to 1927, when American Charles A. “Lucky Lindy” Lindbergh ignited public interest in aviation with his first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. A year later Aeronca was incorporated in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the company setting up operations at the city’s Lunken Airport. **

The museum plane was “the first C-2 produced by Aeronca” and was given the serial number 2 as a way of distinguishing it from the hand-built prototype designed by French engineer Jean A. Roche several years before Aeronca was founded. *

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Roche had relied on “his experience designing a training glider for the Army Air Service at McCook Field [in Ohio] when he began designing his ‘original’ airplane. Construction of the Roche original was done in his garage at 28 Watts Street, Dayton, Ohio...John Q. Dohse, who was an assistant to Roche at McCook, was brought in as a partner…” **

On October 20, [1929], the first production C-2 (s/n 2 X626N) -- the plane on exhibit at the Air and Space Museum -- made its initial flight. Nine days later a second production airplane, X627N, flew. **

“With these two airplanes, an aggressive sales campaign began...Everywhere they were shown, the little planes were received with enthusiasm. Orders began to come in...These were Depression times, but nevertheless Aeronca sold 90 airplanes in 1930... However, the market was noticeably limited, mainly because of the C-2 limitations and discomfort in flying anything but the best and warmest weather. A total of 167 C-2s were built, the last in 1931…” **

Following the devastating floods of the late 1930s at Lunken Field that consumed its operation, Aeronca moved in 1940 to its current location in Middletown, Ohio, adjacent to what is now Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field. **

Today the company is Magellan Aerospace, a “global, integrated aerospace company that provides complex assemblies and systems solutions to aircraft and engine manufacturers, and defence and space agencies worldwide,” according to its website.

References:

For information on the Aeronca C-2 exhibit in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum click on: https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/aeronca-c-2

For information on the current location of the Aeronca C-2 click on: https://airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center

*  From “Aeronca C-2, The Story of the Flying Bathtub,” by Jay P. Spenser, Volume 2 of the “Famous Aircraft of the National Air and Space Museum” series published in 1978 by the Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Air and Space Museum. Available for reading in the Ohio Room at MidPointe Library Middletown.

** From “Aeronca, a Photo History” by Bob Hollenbaugh and John Houser, published as the first book in the “Aviation Heritage Photo Series” by Aviation Heritage Books, Destin, Florida. Available for reading in the Ohio Room at MidPointe Library Middletown.

Photo credit: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/aeronca-c-2)

MidPointe Library is proud to present a history of Aeronca -- now Magellan Aerospace -- in photo and interactive touchscreen displays now through September at its Middletown location, 125 South Broad Street.

 

Special Summer Reading Program Events for the Whole Family

What do performing animals, a magician, birds of prey, puppets and wild and wacky science experiments have in common?

They’re all part of the 2018 MidPointe Library Summer Reading Program beginning today through July 31 at MidPointe locations in Middletown, West Chester, Trenton and Monroe! The theme of this year’s program, sponsored by The Journal News, is “Libraries Rock!”

One of MidPointe’s most highly attended activities, the free Summer Reading Program encourages kids, teens and adults to visit their nearest MidPointe library, check out books or audiobooks, keep track of their reading/listening and receive prizes for their accomplishments. Participants can sign up for a free library card if they do not already have one.

Books and audiobooks aren’t the only things to check out this summer at MidPointe Library! Mark your calendars for appearances by some of the most interesting, hilarious, wild, magical and scientific guests ever to entertain an audience! These special guests will appeal to adults as well as kids.

For your “Rockin’” pleasure, be sure to attend the following free programs!  Registration is required at some locations.

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“Beaks and Talons” presented by Raptor Inc. Meet live avian ambassadors and learn what makes a bird of prey a supreme hunter of the sky! Artifacts such as wings, feet, pellets will be available for touching and raptor vocalizations will be played!

Trenton June 7 @ 10:30 a.m.

Monroe June 14 @ 12 noon and 1 p.m.

Middletown June 23 @ 2 p.m.

West Chester June 30 @ 10:30 a.m.

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“Mr. Cowpie” Enjoy the music of Mr. Cowpie and the performances of his talented live animals!

West Chester June 7 @ 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Trenton July 19 @ 10:30 a.m.

Middletown July 19 @ 2 p.m.

Monroe July 19 @ 5 p.m.

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“Born to Be Wild -- Rockin’ Animals” presented by Animal Tales. See exotic live animals from around the globe!

West Chester June 20 @ 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Middletown June 20 @ 2 p.m.

Trenton June 21 @ 10:30 a.m.

Monroe June 21 @ 4 p.m.

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“The Best of Science Matters!” Who knew science could be so much fun??!!

West Chester June 27 @ 10 a.m. and 11: 30 a.m.

Middletown June 27 @ 2:30 p.m.

Trenton June 28 @ 10:30 a.m.

Monroe June 28 @ 2:30 p.m.

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“Magician Gordon Russ” -- A comedy in magic sure to surprise!

Trenton July 12 @ 10:30 a.m.

Monroe July 12 @ 5:30 p.m.

West Chester July 13 @ 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Middletown July 13 @ 2 p.m.

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“Madcap Puppets!” A who-dunit you won’t want to miss!

Trenton July 26 @ 10:30 a.m.

Middletown July 26 @ 2 p.m.

West Chester July 27 @ 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Monroe July 27 @ 3 p.m.

 

For more information about rockin’ summer fun -- including a live, music concert series at all four MidPointe locations --  log on to www.midpointelibrary.org

Local History #tbt - Rain, Fate and Aeronca

Sometimes one city’s misfortune can be another city’s treasure.

That’s the briefest way to explain how Middletown, Ohio, became the home of longtime employer Aeronca, a leader in the aviation/aerospace industry. Today it is known as Magellan Aerospace.

Indeed, the infamous 1937 flood of Southwest Ohio played a major role in relocating Aeronca three years later from Lunken Airport in Cincinnati to a new base in Middletown. Local historians have explored the subject for many years.

In their 1993 book, “Aeronca, a Photo History,” Bob Hollenbaugh and John Houser recalled that the Aeronautical Corporation of America (known by the acronym “Aeronca”) incorporated in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1928. Soon, they wrote, the company became “synonymous with light planes in America.”

“Aeronca was the first American company to build and market a truly light airplane,” they continued. “The manufacture of Aeroncas prospered at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati even during the dark days of the great Depression.”

Unfortunately, Nature intervened. “...it was the frequent flooding of the Ohio River that prompted the move to Middletown, Ohio, in the spring of 1940,” the authors wrote.

The infamous 1937 flood completely covered the adjacent airport and the factory with water 30 feet deep.

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(Lunken Airport photograph courtesy of "The River Book: Cincinnati and the Ohio.")

That’s when Middletown, Ohio, stepped up.

In a January 16, 1972, article in the Middletown Journal, Middletown Historian George Crout recalled how Middletown business and civic leaders got down to work to bring Aeronca to town.

“Through the work of Ben Bender and the Industrial Development Commission of Middletown, negotiations were begun with the Cincinnati-based firm,” Crout wrote. “The result was that Aeronca decided to move to Middletown, adjacent to the municipal airport, now Hook Field…”

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“In 1940 the new plant was built in Middletown, and Aeronca planes began to fly out of the local airport…” he recalled.

Hollenbaugh and Houser wrote that “Production of the aircraft continued in Middletown through the war years and into the postwar period, finally ending in 1951. In the short span of twenty-three years Aeronca manufactured 17,408 airplanes of some 55 different models…”

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Over time, “the predicted increase in demand for light planes did not materialize,” Crout recalled. But company officials kept their eyes on the skies.

“...to survive and contribute to the industrial scene, the company decided to turn to subcontracting and making component parts for larger planes…,” Crout wrote.

Today, located adjacent to Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field, the company now operates as Magellan Aerospace, designing, engineering and manufacturing products for aerospace, the military, industrial power generation and specialty markets.

A pictorial exhibit celebrating Middletown, Ohio’s 78-year relationship with the aviation/aerospace industry will be available for viewing Monday, June 4 through September at MidPointe Library Middletown. A companion exhibit on the library’s interactive touchscreen will accompany the pictorial exhibit.

The exhibits highlight the history of Aeronca, a longtime Middletown employer now known as Magellan Aerospace. They also recall the vital role that nearby Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field has played in local aviation since the 1940s.

Visitors will find the displays easily by looking for a replica of the colorful Aeronca 7AC Champion plane suspended above the Local History and Genealogy Gallery.

Sources :

Aeronca, a Photo History, by Bob Hollenbaugh and John Houser is available for reading the Ohio Room at MidPointe Library Middletown.

The Middletown Journal article by George Crout can be accessed at www.MidPointeLibrary.org > eLibrary > Research Databases > Magazines and Newspapers > Newspaper Archive.

Local History #tbt - Kids Will Be Kids

Kids never change.

That message comes through loud and clear while perusing the 800+ photos of early 20th century Monroe, Ohio, in the Marion G. Warner Photograph Collection.

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Made available by the Monroe Historical Society, the massive collection of black-and-white photographs taken by Monroe businessman Marion G. Warner (1861-1922) is now available for viewing on MidPointe’s Digital Archives  (http://www.midpointedigitalarchives.org/digital/). It can also be seen on a 70-inch interactive touch screen at MidPointe’s Middletown location, where a set of enlarged photos is also on display.
Kids are well-represented in Mr. Warner’s photos, derived from individual glass plate negatives. The images reflect almost every aspect of life in the 1900s, 1910s and 1920s -- so different yet so familiar to today. They include:


Schoolchildren accompanied by an adult, presumably a teacher or principal :Photograph of children in front of the Monroe Consolidated School building, Monroe, Ohio, undated


Children accompanied by pets : Photograph of an unknown boy playing Cowboys and Indians by a white tent, 1916 June 18, photograph 1

A First Communion or Confirmation class at the Church of Our Lady of Seven Dolors :Photograph of the 1910 Church of Our Lady of Seven Dolors confirmation class, Monroe, Ohio, 1910 Aug

Posing with the older generation :Photograph of three generations of four women, and a young boy, 1914, photograph 2

Of course, playing in the dirt :Photograph of an unknown young boy playing in the dirt, undated, photograph 1

Or all dressed up for a ride with no pony in sight :Photograph of two unknown boys sitting atop a pony cart, undated

While the majority of buildings in the Warner collection have been identified, most of the people have not been identified, said Adam Wanter, MidPointe’s Digital and Special Collections archivist. Therefore MidPointe Library is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the unknowns.

If you can identify people or places in the Marion G. Warner Photograph Collection or would like to correct items that have been misidentified please contact the library at  https://www.midpointelibrary.org/page/contact-form