Library is heart of Monowi

Watching CBS Sunday Morning today, my ears perked up when I heard the word “library.” In this case, the library is in Monowi, a small town in Nebraska, about 100 miles west of Sioux City on route 12. Monowi has one resident. According to its Wikipedia entry, Monowi had 130 residents in its peak years in the 1930s. The CBS story originally aired last year.

The town’s sole resident, Elsie Eiler, founded the 5,000 book library with the collection of her husband, Rudy, who died in 2004. There are pictures of the town and its library in the February 2005 Cave News blog piece.

Three things struck me about this little human interest piece: (1) The news story – whose inclusion of the library seems to validate the town’s existence. In other words, that the concepts town and library are mutually dependent. (2) Comments following the Cave News piece contain offers from numerous people who want to donate books to the library, a common problem in all libraries – the dropping off of unwanted books. (hope Elsie has a good collection policy.) (3) Additionally, comments in the blog piece express an interest in moving to Monowi, as an idealic place to live. Interesting that no one seems to have carried through and expanded the town’s population.

It’s raining!

After a long period of no rain, and with 40% of Minnesota in drought, you can see why this is a great picture – it’s been raining all day. You can just see everything greening up — along with the puddles all over.
It's raining!

Can’t use American Express for Beebopareebop

updated July 30th added photos – thanks, Ruth

Just a few steps off the Lake Wobegon Trail is the Fisher’s Club A Fairly Good Place for Quite Some Time. If it sounds like something off the Prairie Home Companion, you’re almost right – Garrison Keillor is part owner – has been since 2005. However, Fisher’s Club has been there since 1932, when George “Showboat” Fisher opened it. Showboat, who loved hunting and fishing, had just retired from ten years of major league baseball, playing for the Washington Senators and the St. Louis Cardinals, and didn’t want to get tied down with a year-round job so he opened Fisher’s Club on the northeast shore of Middle Spunk Lake.

I had a wonderful evening there last week with a group of librarian friends. Driving through the small town of Avon to the outskirts, where you park on the grass surrounding the crushed rock parking lot, it felt like coming home to the heart of America. The Club sits back from a public swimming beach. The service was a little laid back, the un-conditioned air was Minnesota warm and humid. You can eat inside (why would you do that?) or on the porch. The food was good; I had the half order Fisher’s Famous Walleye Fillet – couldn’t imagine the full order.

And then the best part – Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie with a scoop of ice cream (for only 50 cents extra). I even hummed the song under my breath. Wished I had room for the Powdermilk Biscuits Strawberry Shortcake, which looked just as good.

So, if you’re driving up I-94 north of St Cloud, make the stop. Wear cool clothes and bring cash, Visa, or Mastercard. Just don’t bring American Express – they don’t take it.

Fisher's Club Avon Minnesota

Fisher's Club Avon Minnesota

National Hot Dog Month

How did I miss it? And it’s almost over! July is National Hot Dog Month, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. (librarians always cite the source of their information). While everyone else at the cookout oohs and ahs over the burgers and steaks and kabobs, just give me an all American hot dog, the more charcoaled the better. In fact, while the rest of my family is eagerly anticipating an August trip to Miller Park to see the Brewers, I’m going for the hot dogs.

After 2 days at a top notch WiLSWorld conference, talking about open source, research and development, net neutrality, and online communities, (see previous 6 posts) it will be good to think summer, cookouts, and hot dogs.

National Ice Cream Day – in 2 days

I’m posting this ahead of time, so that we can get ready. Sunday, July 15th is National Ice Cream Day – designated in 1984 as an annual event to be the third Sunday of July by President Ronald Reagan. (no theme intended, even though my previous post also referenced President Reagan).

Wouldn’t it be fun to have an ice cream social as a library event? Or at the very least, for virtual patrons, provide reference links to All those great ice cream recipes – just waiting to be made. Maybe I should head on over to my local big-box store (many to choose from) and pick up an ice cream maker this afternoon. Or then again, maybe I’ll just spend Sunday touring ice cream shops.

Anyway, have a happy Ice Cream Day!