On a hundred degree day in northeast New Jersey, in the summer between fifth and sixth grade, during the interval between tomboy and teenager, I took refuge in the cool, earthy dampness under the hedge in our front yard. There, I opened my book and rejoined my two companions Huck and Jim who were waiting for me, hiding in the tall grass of my imagination. It was the summer of Mark Twain, and two of his works, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. When the school year began, the books were returned to their space on the shelves that lined the staircase. Occasionally over the years, I would touch each in passing, knowing that Huck and Tom, Jim and the Mississippi were still there, unchanged and unspoiled, should I want to go back and visit them.
Now as promised in an earlier column, our special event for the summer is called Twain Along the Mohawk. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain's death. Something you might not have known is that Twain visited Fort Plain in 1868 during a lecture tour promotingInnocents Abroad. The August 14th program to be held in Haslett Park will start off at 4:30 with a short presentation about life in Fort Plain during that time period by Sandy Cronkhite, followed by a reenactment of Twain's 1868 speech The American Vandal Abroad, and a free community picnic sponsored by the library in cooperation with Manna House, after which Gary Van Slyke will present a concert featuring period song. So bring your blanket or lawn chair and spend an enjoyable evening in 1868. In the event of rain, all activities will take place at the Reformed Church.
Lest the Mississippi fade with summer, the Margaret Reaney Memorial Library in St. Johnsville will hold a discussion on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on October 9th at 10:00 am. Barbara Unger will be the guest facilitator. For more information, call Dawn Lamphere at 568-7822.
I am told that in some places cars are locked during this weather, for fear someone might leave zucchinis in the back seat. This vegetable has been a staple for thousands of years. It's a low calorie food with excellent levels of vitamins and minerals. In can be used in any of a hundred ways, and if you don't believe this, come in and peruse a cookbook. Speaking of cookbooks, anyone who brings in a zucchini recipe during the month of August will be treated to a free cookbook of his or her choice from our used cookbook stash.
We will travel halfway around the world for another program in August. On Wednesday, August 25th, at 6:00 pm, we will explore the technique of Kanzashi, a centuries old folded flower technique used to create Japanese hair ornaments. Utilizing Kanzashi in Bloom by Diane Gilleland, we will create a flower and view the various applications available to us today. For more information on any of our offerings, please call the library at (518) 993-4646 or visit the library blog at http://www.ftplib.blogspot.com/.
Submitted by Board of Trustee member Sally Taylor