Thursday, June 18, 2009

Postcard of Public Library

Looking at all of Virgil Marquart’s photo’s (and in this case a postcard), I am often transported back in time to places that meant the world to me.

Case in point – the Allen County Public Library.

This particular shot was taken (I'm guessing?) sometime in the late 60's/early 70's. I’m sure it had to be either very early in the morning and/or sometime early on a Sunday. There’s not any cars sitting in traffic and if you look at the streets that run parallel and adjacent to the library, you won’t find the cars that typically decorated each side of the library.

As I said in a previous post, I spent a lot of time at this library because my mother went through a phase where she did a lot of research on our family tree.

My mother became pretty familiar with the traffic pattern of the patrons which was important because parking near the library was almost impossible.

You see, back in the 70’s, there were actually a lot of buildings located around the library – Webster Street, Berry Street, Wayne Street, Washington Avenue, Jefferson Avenue – all had numerous buildings.

There was parking around the perimeter of the library – meter parking. I was a frequent meter feeder – nickels and dimes and at one time – I’m thinking even pennies.

That was the preferred place to park because if we were there after the sun went down, my mom always felt safer if we didn’t have to walk very far.

Located down the street was a parking lot where you had to pay to park on nice, black pavement. We never, ever took our chances with parking illegally (either in one of these lots or in the lots of businesses) because the police were frequent ticketers of downtown parkers.

As you all know, the library underwent a complete overhaul and expansion. I did visit it last summer and even though I was impressed with its grandness and new technology gadgets, it felt a little stiff and formal. With time and more visits, I'm sure I'll get used to the changes.

In the meantime, I have my memories. I have my Virgil Marquart postcard.


ida glaser said...

my dad would park illegally on the blacktop parking. and just sit in his car waiting for me. now and then he would strike up conversation with the police. lol for real they would sit there and talk while he waited for me. and no, we didnt get ticketed.

PMX said...

I have very wonderful memories of hanging out at the old YWCA that was on Wayne Street, bordering the library's west side, and then visiting the library for an hour or so before hopping on the city bus to go home. The YW was torn down in 1978, when I was 14, so that the library could be expanded. That was a great combination for fun times.

Jim said...

I, too, have very fond memories of the Allen County Public Library. A Saturday trip downtown on the bus, lunch at Penguin Point, a soda at L.S. Ayres ... what could be more fun?