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Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Courting of Ginny Hilton

  Valentine, sent in February of 1929. Hail February, the month of roses and lace and stamps on Valentine cards; a prime time for a story of Northern Kentucky Love! Here’s one: Bernard Wright Southgate Jr., son of Bernard Wright Southgate Sr. and Lallie Kennedy, married Virginia D. Hilton on the 17th of September in 1929. Romantic, I suppose, if a bit dry. One can sit at any of our computers and find that information on Ancestry.com for free, like I just did.   However, what Ancestry doesn’t have is much more interesting. Now available on geNKY, the Southgate courtship letters tell a much more relatable tale. Virginia Southgate (at the time, a Hilton) kept all the letters Bernard sent her through their extensive five-year courtship, even as they both attended school and changed residences. Even though we can only hear his half of the conversation, we have a unique look into the fancies and follies between postmarks and biographical milestones. The first letter is dated the 11th of May, in 1924, from Buffalo, West Virginia, and in it, he writes that he was surprised to receive her letter. It is quite possible (and in fact, likely, from the way he describes her personality in his future notes) that Virginia wrote first.  He does tell us she even illustrated her letters! Unfortunately, we do not possess any of those, though there are a few doodles to be seen at the bottom corner of some pages, like a Tokyo sunrise, and a black cat in a dark cellar at midnight. Bernard is modest about his artistic talents. Virginia, or, as he refers to her, “Ginny”,  starts out in her family home at 15 Calhoun St., [...]

A Book is a Book is a Book

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books  about Books, Libraries, and Reading Children’s Book Week is an annual celebration of children’s books and the joy of reading. Established in 1919 at the urging of Franklin K. Mathiews, Librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, Children’s Book Week is the longest running national literacy initiative in the country. Its original intent was to focus attention on the need for quality children’s books and the importance of childhood literacy. The need for Children’s Book Week today is as essential as it was in 1919. The celebration is the first full week in May and this year runs from May 4-10. There are lots of great children’s books that are about books, reading, and libraries. This seemed to be the perfect opportunity to showcase those titles, both new and old.   Any Questions? by Marie-Louise Gay Gay answers the question, “Where does a story start?” She provides information on how a book is made, and her illustrations, full of splotches of color, bits of collage, scribbles, and scratched-out words, make each spread look like a delightfully disordered work in progress.     The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak In this book with no pictures, the reader has to say every silly word, no matter what. This is great kid-friendly comedy, perfect for a crowd or one-on-one sharing!     Books for Me! by Sue Fliess, illus. by Mike Laughead This third story in the series pays tribute to the many types of books available at the library. The sing-song text and adorable illustrations create a fun story about finding just the right book.     The Boy and the Book by David Michael Slater, illus. by [...]

Spring Flings

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about Spring No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. There are many new books about spring and spring holidays that offer a welcome respite from the gloom of winter. So, while anticipating spring’s arrival, why not check out what’s blooming at the library. New Books about Spring  And Then Another Sheep Turned Up by Laura Gehl, illus. by Amy Adele Preparation and plans for a small family Passover seder are altered when the Sheep family of four is continually interrupted by unexpected guests. Kids will stay engaged with this rhyming, cumulative tale. Bug Detective: Amazing Facts, Myths, and Quirks of Nature by Maggie Li From butterflies to beetles to bees, this fact-filled guide encourages children to take a closer look at the insect world. A Butterfly Called Hope by Mary Alice Monroe, photographs by Barbara J. Bergwerf This book provides an excellent introduction to the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Beautiful, full-color, up-close photographs accompany the text. Four pages of learning activities are also included. Free online resources are available from the publisher as well. Butterfly Counting by Jerry Pallotta, illus. by Shennen Bersani This unusual butterfly book introduces facts about the insects, portrays 24 different species, gives the word for "butterfly" in 27 languages other than English, and counts from zero to 25. Click, Clack, Peep! by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin After a baby duck is born on the farm, the entire farm is disrupted as all the animals try to get the baby to sleep. This is another installment from the duo who gave us Click, Clack, Moo and Giggle, Giggle, Quack. Crinkle, Crackle, Crack: It’s Spring! by Marion Dane [...]

New Love and Valentine’s Day Books

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about Love and Valentine’s Day Roses are red, Violets are blue, Books about love Are waiting for you! Children love Valentine’s Day, from making cards to giving kisses to eating sweets to planning a surprise or two. Many of our selected titles focus on friendship and affection as well as the holiday itself, so why not include a few books in your holiday celebration.   Giveaway:  The Library has a Valentine themed basket to giveaway to one lucky reader. You have three chances to win. Be sure to do each entry separately for more chances to win. The deadline to enter is January 30 at noon. The winner will be announced on the Library Facebook page and have 24 hours to respond. How to enter: 1. Comment on the blog saying who you would share this basket with and why. 2. Tweet this post including @kentonlibrary and comment here that you did. 3. Share on Facebook tagging the Library Facebook page and comment here that you did. Note: Library employees and those living in their household are not eligible to enter.   New Books about Love and Valentine’s Day A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger, illus. by Dan Santat An ordinary boy becomes a grumbling Crankenstein on the mushiest, yuckiest day of the year … until he meets someone just like him! The humorous illustrations include exaggerated expressions which match the size of Crankenstein’s emotions.   Did You Know that I Love You? by Christa Pierce Little Bird expresses her love for Fox in this sweet picture book. The minimal rhyming text makes it a good choice for one-on-one sharing. This is the author/illustrator’s debut children’s book.   Foxy in Love by [...]

Love in Faces and Places

There is plenty of love in our Faces and Places Photograph Archive. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share some of the love and Valentine’s Day inspired photographs in our online archive. Anniversaries –Faces and Places contains many Silver, and Golden Wedding Anniversary photographs like this one of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Smith of Park Hills on May 5th, 1974. Engagements- It was very popular in the 1960s and 70s for women to publish an engagement photograph in the local newspaper. Pictured is Judith Ann Stephens of Union, on June 3, 1965 who was engaged to Richard Lee Hammitt. You can search for engagement announcements in our Northern Kentucky Newspaper Index. Weddings- A lot of happy couples on their wedding day can be found by searching Faces and Places. I especially enjoy this August 2, 1981 wedding of Helen Buschard 75, to Charlie Williams, 81. Buschard is wheeled down the aisle by Robert Williams (Lakeside Place Administrator) who gave her away at the ceremony. Sweet Shops- Chocolates, candy, cakes and pies are all popular tokens of love on Valentine's Day. Faces and Places has photographs of local sweet and candy shops, like this picture of Katherine Hartmann. Hartmann was the owner of Lily's Candies at 9th and Madison, and she is ready for for the Valentine's Day rush on February 12, 1982. Also, we've added local sweet shops to our Historypin account!  These are just a few of the images of love and Valentine's Day we found in Faces and Places. What is your favorite love inspired picture in the Faces and Places collection? Have you found a relatives engagement, anniversary or wedding photograph? Tell us in the comments below! Written by Cierra Earl - Library Associate in the Local [...]