Perils of the Library   1 comment

A few days ago, brother Jim e-mailed me a request.  There was a family story that our dad had his picture published in the paper in 1944.  It showed him as the first soldier in the European Theatre of Operations to vote in the November 7, 1944 elections.  (He voted for FDR, of course.)  He wasn’t sure if the picture was in the Taft Midway Driller, or the Bakersfield Californian.  Both had microfilm archives in the Beale Library here in Bakersfield.  Would I see if I could find that picture?  Of course, I said yes.  It sounded fascinating.

The library hours are so much shorter now that it was hard for me to get in to give it a try.  I finally made it today.  I was directed to the microfilm room, upstairs.

I arrived there slightly breathless — stairs!  Good exercise! — and a nice lady helped me find the right reel of film, and threaded it up.  It took me a little while to get the hang of the machine, but soon I was whizzing through the back issues of the Californian.  I kept stopping to look at interesting headlines.  There was everything from the first V2 bombardments in England, to the formation of the Delano Saddle Club.  (When I got home, Billy told me that the head of that group was his cousin Danny’s father.)  The comics were fun, too.  I had completely forgotten about “Boots and her Buddies”– it was forgettable — and how much I had loved the J. R. Williams “Out Our Way” cartoons.  Especially the ones featuring cowboy Curly and his friends.  And I didn’t know that FDR had won by the smallest margin in history, at that time.  I would have thought it would be a landslide.

But time was passing, and I started whizzing through quickly, checking only the first two pages and the page about local soldiers.  I got to November 8 before I noticed I was feeling a little queasy, but I soldiered (small joke) on.  I was on November 12 before I realized the problem.

I was carsick.  Very carsick.

Actually microfilm sick.  It seems that those pages zipping by had the same effect as rolling waves at sea, or a mountain road.  I decided that November 11 was far enough, and gave it up for the day.  It took a surprisingly long time to get over it.

But I tried, Jim, and I’ll tackle the Midway Driller after I recover.

It really was fun.


Posted January 23, 2013 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

One response to “Perils of the Library

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  1. Oh, God, I used to get microfilm sickness ALL THE TIME researching stuff for the newspaper or for a lesson plan. You’d think they’d improve the technology!!!! So sorry.

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