The Pointe

MidPointe Library's Official Blog

#tbt - Enjoy Christmases Past with MidPointe's vintage Christmas card collection

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful” — Norman Vincent Peale.*

The beauty of the Christmas season has been captured on Christmas cards here and abroad for generations. Often regarded as works of art in miniature, many cards have been preserved so that future generations can cherish their images and messages of peace and goodwill.

MidPointe Library is proud to possess a collection of Christmas cards within its “Digital Archives.” The images, in color and black-and-white, date as far back as 1880.

Enjoy a look back at Christmas Past by browsing through these exquisite Christmas card images:

MidPointe Library offers literally thousands of Christmas-themed items available for checkout to cardholders on shelf and online:

Items are also available to cardholders via our “eLibrary” (ebooks, emagazines, research databases, music, movies and TV shows, as well as our Digital Archives)

All are accessible via our website:

*Quote by Norman Vincent Peale from “The Inspirational Christmas Almanac’” published by Honor Books in 2006. Available for checkout at MidPointe Library.

Remembering Penny Marshall


Today we mourn the death of a woman who could act, direct and produce movies and make us laugh and love her all at the same time.

That woman would be the one-of-a-kind Penny Marshall, who died Monday, December 17, at the age of 75.

As Laverne she was the perfect foil to her roommate Shirley on the TV show named after both characters. As a director she equaled the masters with movies like “Big,” “Awakenings,” “A League of Their Own,” and “The Preacher’s Wife.”

In her autobiography, “My Mother Was Nuts -- A Memoir,”

Marshall recalled her happiness as a child playing with the other apartment kids on the sidewalks and in nearby vacant lots.

my mother was nuts.jpg

“I am not much different now,” she wrote. “I have never wanted to grow up and stop playing. In many ways, I haven’t. In my work and in my personal life, I still try to maintain a connection to the sense of play that I remember from my childhood. Those experiences taught me the lessons that came in handy later in my life:

“Try hard, play by the rules, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.”

Keep playing, Penny. Keep playing.

“My Mother Was Nuts -- A Memoir” by Penny Marshall is available for checkout at MidPointe Library.

To see MidPointe’s collection of works by and about Penny Marshall, go to:

Library cardholders can also access movies and TV shows on Hoopla, via the MidPointe Library website:

#TriviaTuesday - Whose grandfather "played" a role his grandson's stardom?


Thanks to a man named Gus, the rock ‘n’ roll world has savored the guitar mastery of singer/guitarist Keith Richards ever since he first performed with rock kings, The Rolling Stones, in the early 1960s.

Today Richards celebrates his 75th birthday.

As if being guitarist for one of the world’s most famous and respected rock bands isn’t enough, Richards is also adept with the written word.

In 2014 he published a children’s picture book titled “Gus & me : the Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar” in which he paid tribute to the man who taught him to play guitar -- his grandfather, musician Theodore Augustus "Gus" Dupree.


The work was a true family affair. Not only did Richards recount his grandfather’s strong musical influence, he also procured the talents of his daughter, Theodora, named after her great-grandfather, to illustrate the touching true story.

It was a perfect way to celebrate the gift of a grandfather to his grandson and ultimately to Richards’s millions of fans around the world.

Thank you, Gus.

* Information on “Gus & Me” from:

The Hachette Book Group website:

Wikipedia: “Gus & Me.”

“Gus & Me” is available for checkout at MidPointe Library.

Many works of and about the Rolling Stones are available to library cardholders onsite and online at MidPointe Library:

and through Hoopla, available at:

#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.

#TriviaTuesday - What Ohio Native's Fabricated German Accent Led to a Role in a Comedy Classic?

Can you answer this week’s #TriviaTuesday Question?

What Ohio Native's Fabricated German Accent Led to a Role in a Comedy Classic?

Answer: Teri Garr

teri garr.jpg

Lakewood, Ohio, native Teri Garr turns 69 years old today, according to Chase’s 2018 Calendar of Events. Despite other roles, Garr most likely will be remembered as the ethereal beauty who assists Dr. Frederick Frankenstein in the beloved comedy classic “Young Frankenstein.”

Directed by comedy legend Mel Brooks, the movie was released on December 15, 1974 -- nearly 44 years ago, as recorded by the IMDb entertainment website. It remains a favorite, both online and onsite, at MidPointe Library.

In her 2005 autobiography, “Speedbumps -- Flooring It Through Hollywood” (available at MidPointe), Garr recalls auditioning for a part in the horror spoof. Brooks, she writes, told her “that if I came back the next day with a German accent I could read for the part of Inga, Gene Wilder’s buxom love interest. I said, ‘Yah, I zertainly can.’”

To perfect an accent, Garr, who was part of The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour at the time, “made small talk” with Cher’s wig stylist, a German woman “with a thick guttural accent. “

“...I emerged with confidence, determination, and a perfect German accent...” she continues.

Equipped with a realistic accent and a bosom-enhanced “fuzzy pink sweater,” Garr got the part … and an esteemed place in comedy film history.

In 2002 Garr announced that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Since then she has helped raise awareness of the disease.

Unfortunately for her fans, Garr “has not acted in films or television since 2007,” according to Wikipedia.

She’ll always be “Inga” to us.


thriller cover.jpg

When mega-star Michael Jackson sang “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” he wasn’t kidding.

That “Somethin’” turned out to be a record-shattering album named “Thriller” produced by the legendary Quincy Jones. It later spawned a music video the likes of which the planet had never seen.

When Thriller the album was released 36 years ago on November 30, 1982 (*), the early MTV (“Music Television”) generation went wild. And no, they haven’t gotten over it. Nor do they want to.


“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” was just one of many hits featured on “Thriller.” Another introduced fans to a girl named “Billie Jean.” “The Girl is Mine” was a duet sung by Jackson and fellow luminary Paul McCartney.

Then there was the video.

Who could forget its mesmerizing dance moves and the spooky voice-over and wicked laugh supplied by horror film legend Vincent Price?

Its bewitching choreography was replicated by many, including brides, grooms and their attendants who tried to copy the moves -- for better or for worse -- at their wedding receptions. Their efforts are a favorite on YouTube.

Even the venerable Library of Congress was impressed by Jackson’s album. In 2008 LOC announced that “Thriller” had been added to its 2007 National Recording Registry (NRR). It described “Thriller” as “the best-selling album of all time...” and reported that it had met the following qualifications: “Culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” (**)

Whoever said librarians aren’t hip?

(*) “Thriller Released: Anniversary” article from the 2018 Chase’s Calendar of Events available at MidPointe Library.

(**) “Thriller’ in the Library of Congress : 2007 National Recording Registry Announced.” May 14, 2008 (Revised May 22, 2008).

Information on MTV is available at:

“Thriller” photos for this blog were found on Google images.

MidPointe offers onsite music and biographies of Michael Jackson:

Additionally, MidPointe has a voluminous digital platform from which library cardholders can choose music, movies and TV programs: