Darrington Library Blog

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

London Bridge goes to Arizona

According to Wikipedia, the “London Bridge” has existed over the River Thames since the Romans occupied the area. The first bridge was a pontoon bridge built about 50, and next a piled bridge was built in 55. During the Saxon era, a new bridge was needed, so in 1016, a newer London bridge was built of timber. That bridge was destroyed by tornado in 1091. It was soon rebuilt and remained another 45 years until it was destroyed by fire.

Construction of a stone bridge began in 1176 and was finished in 1209. Houses and shops were built on it to bring in revenue. Occasionally disaster struck the stone London Bridge. Arches collapsed, houses burned, and wars were fought on the bridge. By the time the stone bridge was 600 years old, it was clear the bridge needed to be replaced.

Work on a 19th century London Bridge began in 1824. The engineer was John Rennie. Bridge construction included five stone arches in the design. Renne’s London Bridge was finished in 1831. It was 928 ft long and 49 ft. wide. This bridge didn’t quite make it as long as its predecessors. Only one hundred years later one side of London Bridge was inches lower than the other. A new bridge was needed so designs were made for the newest version of the London Bridge. Work began in 1967. Napoleon’s cannons were used to make the bridge lights. Queen Elizabeth II opened the modern London Bridge on March 17, 1973. If you want to travel to London, England to see the London Bridge or even the Tower Bridge, check out a great website at www.londontown.com.

While the most current version of the London Bridge remains in place to watch over the River Thames, Rennie’s London Bridge immigrated to America. It was bought by Robert McCulloch, taken apart and each piece numbered. McCulloch reassembled the bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona where it connects Thompson Bay with the Arizona side of Lake Havasu. The English theme park where the bridge resides is the second largest attraction in Arizona. You can access information about the Lake Havasu City and its London Bridge at www.londonbridgeresort.com.

You can find information about both London, England, and Arizona by checking out travel guides for at the library. If you prefer something a little closer and much less costly, there is a new bridge over the Sauk River in Darrington. It’s not the London Bridge, but you can rest on a bench along the banks of the river. A piece of the old Sauk Bridge still sits alongside the bench and from there you will have a perfect view of the new Sauk River Bridge.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Juggling

People spend much of their lives juggling. We juggle time, thoughts, activities, decisions, and child care. Entertainers juggle rings, bottles, scarves and other interesting things to entertain children and adults. Stay at home mom’s and dads can find helpful information about juggling the responsibilities of home and family through the following books. Check out Juggling Tasks, Tots, & Time Juggling Tasks, Tots and Time by Cathy Penshorn, or The Stay-At-Home Dad Handbook by Peter Baylies. Working parents may glean information from the book, How She Really Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms by Wendy Sachs.

If you are interested in actually learning to juggle, try The Most Excellent Book of How to Be a Juggler by Mitch Mitchelson.

While you are juggling your thoughts or schedule, give yourself a little break. Bring your school age children to the summer reading kickoff on Saturday, June 20 at 3:00 pm at the Darrington Library. Parent's Choice Awards winner Bonnie Phipps will tickle your imagination with story and song, rhythm, rhyme and melodies. You can either stay and be entertained along with your children, or you can spend the time pampering yourself by browsing our shelves for a great read.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A tale of two weddings

Weddings seem to in the air this time of year. June is traditionally the month when more people get married than any other time.

Ever wonder why June weddings are so popular? It is said the Romans favored June weddings because that month dedicated to the observance of Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.

Another piece of historical “folklore” dating back to Shakespeare’s time is that in the 1500's, people took their yearly baths in May, when the weather warmed up. By June, they were still fairly clean and smelled pretty good, compared to the rest of the year. Since the over-all population was smelling relatively fresh in June, it was a good time to hold a special event like a wedding. However the bride still carried a bouquet of fresh flowers to mask any unwanted odors.

I attended two family weddings over the past two weeks, one couple in their 20’s and the other in their 60’s.

They were both beautifully planned weddings and each very different from the other. One had a very intimate wedding, with only their parent, children, and siblings attending while the other couple hosted a multitude of family, friends and colleagues at a picturesque outdoor wedding site. One wedding took a year to plan, the other a month. Both couples wrote their own wedding vows, very loving and memorable wedding vows. I was impressed and very happy to add a new niece-in-law and new brother-in-law to our family.

Our library system carries many wedding planning books and magazines that can help you plan that so very important day including how to save time and money with on-line resources. Check us out!