The Pointe

MidPointe Library's Official Blog

#tbt - Happy Birthday to Dick Van Dyke and How a Spoonful of Sugar Stuck Around Locally

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“Let’s go fly a kite” today!

This day -- December 13, 2018 -- we celebrate the 93rd birthday of beloved Dick Van Dyke, the venerable TV/movie star/comedian who sang and danced his way into our hearts as “Bert” in the 1964 Walt Disney movie classic, “Mary Poppins.”

But wait! There’s more!

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When the sequel to “Mary Poppins,” entitled “Mary Poppins Returns,” premieres this Wednesday, December 19, you’ll see Van Dyke again, this time as the character, “Mr. Dawes Jr.”

It doesn’t get any better than that.

When it debuted in 1965 at the Studio Theater in Middletown, Ohio, the original “Mary Poppins” was an instant hit. In an April 28, 1965, article headlined “Poppins Breaks All Records,” the Middletown Journal reported that the movie had been seen “by more than 17,600 persons” during its three-week run.

“That’s one record, at least, for the year-old Studio,” the article continued. “The other -- a run of three weeks -- may be an all-time record for any Middletown theater, according to records checked by William H. Cornn Jr., Studio manager.”

By now just about every Baby Boomer and his-her offspring have watched the original Mary Poppins (portrayed by Julie Andrews) and Bert (Van Dyke) interact with the children of the staid Banks family of London.

We all know the story, the characters, the clever animation, the unforgettable music, yet we keep going back for more and more and more.

With the sequel featuring Emily Blunt as Mary, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Mary’s friend, Jack, and the endearing Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr., it looks like our wish to spend more time with Mary Poppins et. al. has been granted.

Maybe Mary performed a little magic again-- this time just for us...and the grandkids.


Dick Van Dyke’s birthday information from the “2018 Chase’s Calendar of Events” available at MidPointe Library.

“Middletown Journal” article, “Poppins Breaks All Records,” dated April 28,1965. Copies of the Journal can be viewed on microfilm at MidPointe Library-Middletown. Library cardholders can also access copies through the Newspaper Archive on the MidPointe website:

Library cardholders can also check out Mary Poppins-themed materials onsite or online at MidPointe Library:

“Mary Poppins Returns” information from the IMDb entertainment site:

Some images from Google.