The Pointe

MidPointe Library's Official Blog

Now Accepting Applications for READLocal 2018

Local independently published (“Indie”) authors looking for a forum to meet the public are invited to register for the “ReadLOCAL Indie Author Fair” scheduled Saturday, September 29, at MidPointe Library, 9363 Centre Pointe Drive, West Chester, Ohio.

The popular program gives readers a chance to meet authors and ask about their writing processes and backgrounds. Visitors can also buy books and have them signed by the authors. There is no admission fee.

Authors will welcome visitors from 10 a.m. to noon in the library’s Community Room, said Martha Matthews, Information/Reference Programming Librarian.

The library is currently seeking local published authors who write for adult, teen and children’s audiences in the following genres : fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short story, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy, romance and graphic novel. There is no participation fee.

Authors who want to participate should fill out an application available here. Print applications will be available at MidPointe Library West Chester’s “Ask Here” desk. Forms should be returned by Wednesday, August 29.

This year the library staff is working in conjunction with other “Indie Author Day” organizers to promote the event.

The September “ReadLOCAL Indie Author Fair” will be the second for MidPointe Library West Chester. More than twenty authors attended the first program in 2016.

 

Local History #tbt Blog - Len Kahny and the Rosies Rise to the Occasion

When he retired from professional baseball in 1940, 29-year-old Len Kahny couldn’t foresee the day he would become part of a much bigger team, one that would fight and win “the largest armed conflict in human history.”  (1)

But with America’s entry into World War II, the former Cincinnati Red and Durham Bulls baseball player became one of a team of thousands : the men and women laboring in industrial plants, producing whatever America’s fighting forces needed to defeat the enemy on land, at sea and in the air.

Mr Kahny photo middletown-sunday-news-journal-Apr-15-1950-p-12.jpg

For the former ballplayer, the opportunity to be a part of America’s industrial fighting force materialized in Middletown, Ohio, at the Aeronautical Corporation of America (later known as Aeronca Aircraft Corporation and today as Magellan Aerospace). The company had long been known for its high-quality civilian light aircraft.

mr kahny photo at aeronca.png

Kahny joined Aeronca in 1940. After working in the Receiving Department, he progressed through stock rooms to the position of administrative assistant and eventually plant superintendent. He also worked in sales. (2)

However, it wasn’t long before World War II upended the lives of citizens and their workplaces. Americans and industry adapted, changing production and employment systems to accommodate the needs of a nation at war.

Like his fellow Americans, Kahny adjusted to life in wartime. When Aeronca curtailed commercial sales in order to provide aircraft for war, he returned to the factory floor as assistant foreman and later as foreman, working on the final assembly of parts for the B-17, the PT-19 and PT-23 and C-46  aircraft. (2)

Historical_817_extralarge.jpg

In this capacity Kahny oversaw the work of the local “Rosie the Riveters” who stepped up to perform the production jobs that were vacated when men were called into military service. (3)

The labor provided by the women was vital. In World War II, the aviation industry “saw the greatest increase in female workers,” according to the website, History, a product of the A+E network… “More than 310,000 women worked in the U.S. aircraft industry in 1943, making up 65 percent of the industry’s total workforce (compared to just 1 percent in the pre-war years).”  (4)

The women were so important to the war effort that even today the moniker “Rosie the Riveter” commands respect. The name has been memorialized in a famous image of a determined female factory worker assuring Americans -- especially women -- that they were up to the job of supplying whatever the country needed in time of war. (5)

World War II impacted Kahny in another way, according to his daughter, Michaele Malkowicz. “Daddy was learning to fly just before Pearl Harbor put an end to civilian flying and everyone scrambled for the war effort,” she recalled. “He never did get a pilot’s license.”

After the war Aeronca resumed production of commercial aircraft. Kahny  became manager of material control and gradually transferred to the procurement department. He retired as purchasing agent in 1975. (2)

For the gregarious Kahny, retirement wasn’t a retreat from the world. In fact, it was just the opposite. He welcomed the opportunity to do new things and to help people.

Ever industrious, Kahny took up picture framing to accommodate his wife Helen’s antique print collection. The hobby soon turned into a full-time venture and a craft he taught for many years at the Middletown Arts Center, where he also volunteered. In 1983 the couple helped form the Art Committee at Middletown Library (now MidPointe Library Middletown). Kahny also served as treasurer of the Friends of the Library. For the Kahnys, volunteering was a way of life. Mrs. Kahny passed away in 1988. (6)

mr kahny obit photo.jpg

Kahny continued the good work, age never preventing him from providing a public service. After 22 years as a volunteer driver for the local Red Cross, he reluctantly retired at the sprightly age of 98. His favorite volunteer position, he often said, was being assistant in the nursery of the local Oasis Church. He enjoyed remembering all the children who passed from his arms into the youth ministry. (6)

Kahny’s generous gift of time and talent to local organizations was acknowledged and appreciated.

On his 90th birthday in 2001 the Middletown Public Library Board of Trustees presented a plaque to Kahny, thanking him for “decades of service” combining “the highest standard of performance with an unparalleled sense of esthetics. ” (From family files).

In 2011 the Cincinnati Reds honored their former shortstop “for passing the 100-year-mark.” The club gave Kahny box seats to a game and displayed birthday greetings to him on the scoreboard. (7)

The centenarian’s generosity of spirit shown through upon receiving the honor. “I don’t expect a bash at the ballpark,” Kahny told Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Cliff Radel. “It’s Johnny Bench’s night.” He was referring to the unveiling of a statue of Bench, a Hall of Famer, prior to the game (7).

Looking back, it seemed only natural that Kahny would play ball for the Cincinnati Reds. A native of Cincinnati’s North End, he graduated from Hughes High School and in 1934 signed a contract to play shortstop with the team. Two years later he was a “hot prospect” and “swinging an autographed ‘Len Kahny’ Louisville Slugger bat. (6)

In 1936 Kahny played with the Durham Bulls in the North Carolina Piedmont League. It was also a banner year in his personal life : he married Helen Smith Hanner, a student nurse he had met while playing with the Mt. Airy Reds. (6) The Kahny family made their home in Middletown for many years.

Len Kahny died in November 2014 at the age of 103. All who were lucky to know him agreed he was a true man of all seasons.

SOURCES:

The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project.  World War II (1939-1945)

www2.gwu.edu/~erpapers/teachinger/glossary/world-war-2.cfm

 2. Professional resume provided by family.

 3. “Aeronca” brochure composed by MidPointe Library System accompanying Aeronca historical photo display at MidPointe Library Middletown.

4. “Rosies in the Workforce” (History, A+E Television Network)

 5. Wikipedia.

6. Leonard John Kahny obituary (1911-2014)  Journal-News November 23, 2014

7. “Reds call up 100-year-old SS” by Cliff Radel of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Article appears in the Kinston, N.C. Free Press available for viewing via the MidPointe Library website > eLibrary >Research databases > Browse L-P > Newspaper Archive > Kinston Free Press, September 17, 2011.

A photographic display 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 can find the display just by looking up to the ceiling. A model of the colorful Aeronca 7AC Champion plane is 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 Middletown 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.

 

 

 

Local History #tbt Blog - How Aeronca Helped Send a Man to the Moon

“Aeronca got near perfection for moonship.”

command module apollo 11.jpg

That was the headline in the July 16, 1969, Middletown (Ohio) Journal when the Apollo 11 command module “Columbia” -- with the help of employees of Middletown’s Aeronca Incorporated -- departed Earth. (1)

Apollo 11’s goal : to deliver the first humans to walk upon the Moon as well as the “Eagle,” a special craft the astronauts would use to descend to Moon’s surface after landing. (2).

Neil Armstrong.jpg

The rest, as they say, is history. On July 20 lunar module Eagle landed on the Moon’s surface. On July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first man to step onto the Moon, followed shortly by Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr.  In the meantime Michael Collins remained alone in lunar orbit, piloting the Columbia (3).

A worldwide audience marvelled at the historic events (3).

Back in Middletown, Ohio, the technological victory was personal. That’s because the Columbia carried a special heat shield developed by Aeronca  that would protect its precious cargo upon re-entry to Earth. The stainless steel used in its construction came from another Middletown industry, Armco Steel Corporation. (1)

“Emotions were riding high at Aeronca, Inc. today,” wrote Middletown Journal reporter Fred Sennet about the successful liftoff. “After all, it isn’t every day you help send a man to the moon.” (1)

aeronca apollo.jpg

 

“Aeronca employees who helped develop the brazed honeycomb panels on the Apollo 11 command module that guard the astronauts against the intense temperatures of outer space, have a lot riding on today’s Moon

shot… ” Sennet wrote. “...Without the panels, there would have been no launching today…” (1)

The gravity of the mission weighed heavily upon all involved. A successful re-entry was paramount.

According to “Apollo Manufacturing,” a document available through NASA (4), “One of the severest requirements of the Apollo program was for a heat shield that would withstand the intense aerodynamic heating experienced during entry from a lunar mission.”

Sennet described the intensity of returning to Earth. “Re-entry heat is 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit but there are ‘flash points’ where the heat builds to 25,000 degrees,” he wrote. He quoted Don LaFrance, factory manager at Aeronca : “It’s not the electrical components or the controlled environment that keeps [the astronauts] alive...It’s the structure.” (1)

“You know men’s lives are involved,” LaFrance told Sennet. (1)

LaFrance recalled the 16 to 18-hour days and weekends that became the norm as employees developed the capability to build the panels. “...The project here brought people together for a common purpose…” LaFrance said. (1)

“A working relationship developed with the company’s suppliers and the employees that had never existed before,” Sennet wrote. He quoted Lance Duncan, manager of control administration at Aeronca, who summed up the situation : “The enthusiasm spread.” In addition to Armco, another supplier mentioned in the article was North American Aviation, “which assembles the module.” (1)

With mission accomplished on launch day, the pride of all who were involved was palpable.

“There were a lot of technical problems to overcome,” Duncan told Sennet. “But we took them one by one. Through the sweat and blood of a lot of people, the goals -- and some of them were virtually impossible -- were met.” (1)

Of the panels, he said, “They’re 99 and 44-100ths perfect, as perfect as man can make them.” (1)

After reuniting in the command module, the three astronauts returned to Earth on July 24, 1969, splashing down in the North Pacific Ocean, their  historic eight-day mission completed (3). Today the command module is under the care of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2).

The explorers had left behind a science experiment consisting of many mirrors to measure the distance between Earth and Moon. (5)

But most Earthlings remember a more personal memento : Neil Armstrong’s first-ever Moon-print, “a boot-shaped depression in the gray moondust.” (5).

A fitting way to say “America -- and Middletown, Ohio -- were here.”

 

Photo Credit:  Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Sources:  

1.   The July 16, 1969, Middletown Journal, available for viewing

     at www.midpointelibrary.org > eLibrary > Research Databases >

     Browse L-P > Newspaper Archive > Middletown Journal.  

2.  https://airandspace.si.edu (Smithsonian National Air and

     Space Museum

3.   Wikipedia

4.  Apollo Manufacturing available for viewing at www.nasa.gov     

5.  “What Neil & Buzz Left On The Moon” (revised May 9, 2017)

     www.science.nasa.gov

 
A photographic display 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 can find the display just by looking up to the ceiling. A model of the colorful Aeronca 7AC Champion plane is 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 Middletown 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.

 

 

 

Local History #tbt Blog - Aeronca, Disney and a Grasshopper Named "Abel"

What do Walt Disney, a grasshopper, and a World War II airplane have in common?

If you answered, “Aeronca of Middletown, Ohio,” congratulations! You’re ready to compete on “Jeopardy!”

During World War II the aircraft manufacturer (now known as Magellan Aerospace) served the country in many ways, including producing the Aeronca Grasshopper, “a light liaison and observation monoplane” (1) used for “artillery spotting, scouting, and air ambulance duties.”  (2)

One can imagine such a plane in the midst of war, maneuvering up and down and in and out of tight, dangerous spots -- similar to a jumping grasshopper -- to provide badly needed supplies to troops below.  

Such a battle was depicted in an advertisement, reportedly in the October 25, 1943, issue of Life Magazine, in which a pilot flying an Aeronca Grasshopper drops necessities to embattled soldiers. (3)

The ad also contained a sketch of an insect with a big smile and aviator glasses. The little guy was none other than “Abel Grasshopper -- ...trained, seasoned, effective...doing more and more important missions on many fronts” -- the symbol of Aeronca’s nimble, multi-use war plane.

Who drew the sketch? The copyright symbol names legendary Walt Disney (3), whose beloved comic characters did their part to support the troops and the nation in time of war (4).

Abel the Grasshopper not only appeared in advertisements for Aeronca. He was also the subject of a “full-color book to delight the young in heart” entitled “Mr. Grasshopper Wins His Wings.” The public could obtain a copy of the book by sending “10 [cents] in stamps to Dept. L, Aeronca Aircraft Corp., Middletown, Ohio.” (3).

grasshopper.jpg

 

Copies of “Mr. Grasshopper Wins His Wings” may be difficult to find today. A check of WorldCat, “the world’s largest network of library content and services” (5), lists only one copy -- at Princeton University Library in Princeton, New Jersey.

However, the names associated with the book -- Aeronca and Disney -- have played a vital role in American aviation and culture to this day.

A photographic display 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 can find the display just by looking up to the ceiling. A model of the colorful Aeronca 7AC Champion plane is 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 Middletown 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.

  1. From Air Highways Magazine www.airhighways.com/aeronca.htm

  2. Disney to the Front - American in WWII magazine www.americainwwii.com  (Type in Disney to the Front)

  3. Disney Design: Aeronca Mr. Grasshopper

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ (Type in Aeronca             Grasshopper)

   4. Mickey Mouse Morale: Disney on the World War II Home Front

        http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/ww2-disney

   5. OCLC WorldCat

        http://www.worldcat.org

July is Filled with Fun at MidPointe!

Animals, puppets and a magician will be the special guests in July during MidPointe Library’s free Summer Reading Program at each of its four locations.

“Mr. Cowpie,” the Madcap Puppets and Magician Gordon Russ will entertain kids of all ages as part of the program that’s been a summer tradition for years. Registration is required. Performers and times are listed below:

SpecialEvents_5.jpg

Magician Gordon Russ at MidPointe Library Trenton on Thursday, July 12, at 10:30 a.m. ; MidPointe Library Monroe on Thursday, July 12, at 5:30 p.m.; MidPointe Library West Chester on Friday, July 13, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. ; and MidPointe Library Middletown on Friday, July 13, at 2 p.m.

SpecialEvents_6.jpg

 

The Madcap Puppets at MidPointe Library Trenton on Thursday, July 26, at 10 a.m. ; at MidPointe Library Middletown, Thursday, July 26, at 2 p.m. ; at MidPointe Library West Chester Friday, July 27, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. ; and at MidPointe Library Monroe Friday, July 27, at 3 p.m.

SpecialEvents_1.jpg

 

Mr. Cowpie and his talented live animals will appear Thursday, July 19 at  MidPointe Library Trenton at 10:30 a.m., MidPointe Library Middletown at 2 p.m. and MidPointe Library Monroe at 5 p.m.

One of MidPointe’s most highly attended activities, the Summer Reading Program -- this year themed “Libraries Rock!” --  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. Special guests, activities and music are a popular part of the program.

For more information about MidPointe Library’s Summer Reading Program log on to  www.midpointelibrary.org.

 

 

 

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.

roger blog 3.jpg

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…

Roger blog 1.jpg

“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.

Roger blog 2.jpg

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.

tammi.JPG

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.

Sleeping giant.JPG

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

tamara draut

“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.