Book Signing Event with Jason McKown

The Sargent Library will be hosting a book signing for Jason “Jake”  McKown on Saturday, April 21st from 9:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon.

“Nature’s Wrath” is Jake’s first published book. For those who don’t know Jake, he is blind, and yet he is able to vividly describe scenes in the story. The subject deals with the horror of what can happen when scientists experiment with cloning and genetic engineering.  It is purely fictional, but very scary. It’s not the type of book that you want to read before bedtime. One of the horrible creatures in the book is a cross between a jungle mosquito, a cicada, and an earthworm. That doesn’t sound very ferocious, but it terrorizes the whole country.  Jake even managed to include Sargent, Nebraska and Comstock Nebraska in his story.

Be sure to come and congratulate Jake on his new book, and also to learn about some of the exciting books he has planned for the future

Come Join The Library’s Book Club

We held our first book club last Wednesday evening, and it was a lot of fun. Eleven ladies showed up to discuss February’s featured book “Girl with a Pearl Earring”.

For the month of March we are reading “The Meaning of Names” by Karen Gettert  Shoemaker (Nebraska author). This is a historical fiction book set in Stuart, Nebraska around 1918. It deals with the country’s prejudices against German immigrants during World War I, and also the terrible flu pandemic that killed millions.

We still have multiple copies of this book available for check out. Everyone is welcome to come get a book and join us. Our next book club will meet March 28th at 5:30 p.m. 

Friends Of The Library

There are exciting things happening at the library. Recently five very enthusiastic women (Emily Jandreau, Emily Tobias, Kallie Morse, Gwen Bye, and Tess Sinner) have been working on forming a Friends of the Library group in Sargent.

The purpose of a Friends group is to support the services and programs of the Sargent Township Library by raising funds, public awareness and community support. Previously any money donated to the library was not tax deductible because the library is not a 501c3 organization. The Sargent Friends group is a non-profit 501c3 organization that is a legally distinct entity with their own board of directors. They are organized under the umbrella of the Sargent Economic Development. All money raised by the Friends group will be given to the library to purchase new computers, for building repairs, and to help fund educational activities for children and adults at the library such as the summer reading program.

Now that they are organized, the group is looking for additional members to help with fundraising ideas and library promotion. Be sure to “like” them on Facebook, and consider including the Friends of the Sargent Library in your end of year giving.

 

Look Back in Time With A Custer Co. Atlas from 1978 or 1994

Just to let everyone know that the library has Custer County Atlases from 1978 and 1994 for you to peruse.  In an atlas you can find maps of different townships where everyone lived. There is a directory of the residents by township that tells husband, wife, children, church affiliation, other community organizations that they belonged to, and how long the family has lived in the county. Probably the most interesting part is the family photos; everyone looks so young 🙂

Dr. Marie Antoinette Ames of Sargent, NE

Here’s an interesting bit of Sargent trivia. In 1902-1903 Sargent had a woman physician named Dr. Marie Antoinette Ames. 

Ad from Sargent Leader 2-26-1902

She was married to Dr. A.J. Ames who practiced in Taylor, NE.

By August of 1902, both doctors were practicing in Sargent.

Sargent New Era 8-30-1902

 

Ad from Sargent New Era 9-13-1902

There is no mention of either doctor after 1903

The Forgotten Artistry of Charles Swanson

All around Sargent are memories of the past that have been forgotten or overlooked. The other day I was reminded of this when someone asked me where the library’s bird bath came from and how old it was. For anyone who has ever noticed, this is a beautiful lawn ornament, and it turns out there is quite a bit of history behind it.  
BirdBath
The bird bath was purchased for the library in 1931 by the Justamere Club.  Charles Swanson was the person who created and designed the stone structure.  The history behind Mr. Swanson is what makes this story so interesting.

Charles Swanson was a Swedish immigrant who homesteaded some land in the Cummings Park area (12 miles NW from Sargent).  In his later years, he and his wife Maggie moved to Sargent.  The couple loved to travel, and everywhere they went, Mr. Swanson would bring back rock specimens – lots of rocks.  It made sense then, that he would become an artist in cement.  He started building cement/rock structures for his home in Sargent. He designed the front steps, fireplace, and numerous lawn ornaments, and he was able to tell visitors exactly where each rock came from. In addition to his home, he built cement structures all around Sargent and Loup County. According to the Sargent Leader (12/20/34), “it would take volumes to describe all the things he made with his rock specimens set in cement.”

Here is the challenge. How many structures made by Charles Swanson still exist? His artistry was placed in Sargent, Loup County, and the surrounding countryside.  You may have passed by one of his works every day and just didn’t know where it came from. Take a picture and send it to sargentlibrary@gmail.com, text it to 402-316-2201, or post it to the library’s Facebook page.

LoupCountyMuseum_Taylor_02

Loup County Museum in Taylor, NE

Madison Square Cemetery

Gravestone at Madison Square Cemetery

 

Even a Cloud Covered Eclipse Can Be An Amazing Experience

Right now it is cloudy outside. It is not exactly the weather that we wanted. Hopefully the clouds will dissipate later in the morning and we will be able to see the sun. If we have a little cloud cover, we may still be able to see the 360 degree sunset during the eclipse. However even if we have total cloud cover during the eclipse, be sure to get outside anyway and experience the effects of the eclipse. Many people have experienced an eclipse on a cloudy day, and they all say they would rather be in the shadow of totality when it is cloudy than to be outside of the shadow on a clear day. Even under cloud cover, you will be able to see the shadow rushing toward you. Then it will suddenly get very dark. The temperature will drop, and finally you will see the shadow rushing away from you. As I write this, the sun is trying to peek out. No matter what happens it will be an awesome experience, so get outside!

Kids Are Smart

I realize that parents and teachers are concerned about young children looking at the sun tomorrow.  This is an important concern and every precaution should be taken. However, I think the kids will do just fine. Even young children can understand the dangers of looking directly at the sun with no protection. Today in Sunday school, we had a pair of eclipse glasses sitting on the table. The kids remarked that these glasses looked different from the glasses that they were going to use in school. One little kindergartener asked me, “are you sure those are safe to use? Do they have the correct number on them?” I had to laugh. It seems the parents and teachers are doing an excellent job of educating their children about the eclipse.

Are Eclipses Best Viewed on a Lonely Hilltop or With An Energetic Crowd?

Are you ready for a mass crowd of people to descend upon Nebraska? For anyone who lives less than 4-5 hours from the path of the eclipse, they would be foolish not to come, see, and experience such a rare event. If I lived north of Sargent and within driving distance of the eclipse, my thought would be to drive to where the eclipse will take place, find some lonely country road and pull to the side and watch everything take place. I wonder how many other people have this idea. Perhaps our lonely country roads won’t be so lonely for a few hours – time will tell. However, is a lonely road or hilltop really the best place to view the eclipse?

Great occurrences such as this are even better when shared with other people. This is a video of the total eclipse in 2010 on Easter Island. Just listen to the excitement and energy coming from the crowd. Listen to the cheering when the eclipse finally occurs.

Yes, events like this are best when shared with other people. In Sargent we have an eclipse event planned on the school football field starting at 11:30 a.m., with totality occurring around 12:56 p.m.  Free eclipse glasses will be available. The Sargent Economic Development will be serving a lunch (on a donation basis).  The library will have a bake sale, and it has been rumored that Janie’s Kolaches and Ricky’s peach muffins will be available.

A special guest and speaker will be AJ Gemer.  AJ has degrees in Aerospace and Mechanical engineering, and he is a researcher at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colorado studying cosmic dust. He will be a great source of information for all questions that are space related.

So far the weather forecast looks good for Monday. We may have a few clouds, but hopefully they will move aside when the eclipse happens. We hope to see you at the football field.

Why Using a Welding Helmet to View the Eclipse May Be a Bad Idea

I have heard countless numbers of farmers tell me that they are going to view the eclipse with their welding helmet. According to NASA, make sure that you are using a shade 12 or higher welder’s glass; any shade less is not safe to look directly at the sun.

Gene Willers of Neligh, NE recently gave this testimony of how his eye was damaged by an eclipse when he was 13 years old in 1963.

“There was a lot of news about the eclipse…They gave advice to not look at it and those type things.” After all looking at the sun during an eclipse can cause retinal burn or permanent eye damage.

“Being a farm kid and a 13-year old who knows a lot, so I thought ‘It can’t hurt to look at it through a welder’s shield or helmet .’ Just to be on the safe side, I looked through one eye – it was my right eye. I didn’t really look for a long time because it was blinding, even with the welder’s glasses…but apparently it didn’t take a long time.”

Little did he know the damage that had been done to his right eye.

“The next day when I woke up my eye was matted shut and swollen. I went to an optometrist and of course it was like a sunburn on my eye, plus there were indicators that retinal damage may have occurred. Not too soon after that I had to wear glasses to correct some things.”

Please protect your eyes and use proper eclipse viewing glasses. You don’t want to turn your eyes into these.

 

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