Doctor Eclectic

Doctor Eclectic
Doctor Eclectic

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Frank Sinatra 1947
The other day on the spur of the moment Mary and I went to the Bowers Museum for a lecture titled: Sinatra: the Early Years.  Aside from the spontaneity, what made it special was the fact that museums, like libraries, are reinventing themselves as to how they fit into the community.  There was no Sinatra exhibit, nor even an exhibit on American music. Instead, there was a contact with a retired school teacher with a passion for American music who was given a forum and an audience to present a fantastic collection of film clips of the early years of a singer who has been aptly named: The Voice.

In recent times I was asked by the Crowell Library of San Marino to present a lecture on Julia Child and her affiliation with the AIWF as part of an annual Book Discussion group they have.  Although Book Signings are fairly common at libraries, my book Harnessing a Heritage, had nothing to do with my invitation.  It was my knowledge of the American Institute of Wine and Food and of Julia, one of its founders that was of interest.  On another note: at our El Toro Library we attended a presentation by a woman who chronicled her childhood memories of incarceration by our government during the Second World War with paintings she has collected into a book.  The interest of her audience was not so much in her book as the experience of her incarceration and, more specifically, why the Japanese Americans seemed to bear little resentment to the loss of their rights and property by the U.S. Government.  We have also attended several jazz concerts at the Orange County Museum of Art, and one wine and cheese tasting at the Newport Library.

As Program Chair for the local Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America I recently tapped into a program initiated at the Santa Ana Library”: a program designed to assist separating service personnel in finding employment in the civilian sector.  The Chief Librarian, Milly Lugo, used the facilities and credentials of the library to bring together several resources to one venue and to appeal to the audience best suited to the value of the program.  Although it is quire early in the game, there is every indication that the program will be of great value to those in need.

 In Orange County most libraries have a volunteer-staffed used book store that [provides significant funds for projects and; programs that would otherwise not be possible.  Mary has been involved with the El Toro Library Bookstore since its inception more than twenty years ago.  Partially because of its location (just outside of a senior residential community, they have an abundance of donated books, some of them quite valuable.  In recent years those of value are traded on e-Bay and their sale has allowed the Friends group to donate for $40,000 to $50,000 a year for the last several years.

Other library projects are worthy of special note.  One of the local libraries, recognizing that homeless people were using their facilities to wash-up decided they would target that audience with opportunities to learn skill that would help them towards employment. Another was in the WESJ recently where libraries are now stocking e-books, offering a Netflix type reading experience for free.

So, you might want to check out what your libraries and museums are offering.  As for me, we will be going to Sinatra: Part 2 the end of the month.  I may learn something new, like last time when I learned that part of Sinatra’s uniqueness was that he had trained his breathing to all for long phrasing by swimming under water; a trick now being used by Extreme athletes to be more relaxed and confidant.

Join me next time when I explore Lucid dreaming and how it relates to problem solving.

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