Friday, October 9, 2009

The McMillen Globe

Photo Credits: CONTENTdm Collection

I don't think that I can say this enough times. I absolutely loved my downtown library. It was big, had lots of books, cool fountains to throw pennies in, and most importantly, the GLOBE.

Whenever I would find whatever books I had planned on reading for the day, I would plant myself in one of the comfortable, cozy chairs, located right next to the GLOBE.

There was something magical about that darn GLOBE. People have told me that it wasn't geographically - 100% accurate - but I neither believed them nor cared. I could watch that thing turn and turn and even when it was off of its tracks/needed oiled (notably whenever you heard the click, click, click and saw it jerk a bit with every twist), I was mesmerized by its presence.

It almost looked - you know - paper mache'd although I know from looking at historical photos that it was not. I always thought to myself, one day, I'm going to go to this country or that country...and sometimes I would close my eyes and say that wherever they landed (on the GLOBE), is where I would take my very first out of country trip. Yes, I was a um...weird child ;).

When the downtown library was rebuilt here recently, my biggest fear was that the GLOBE would be gone. I did see it near the front entrance. It was roped off - just like it had been years ago - but in this case, it sort of sat to the side. Makes me a bit sad that many patrons probably walk by it without even giving it a glance.

I know from historical photos that the GLOBE was given to the library from Mr. McMillen. The plaque that sits at the base says, Given to library by the boys and girls of the Wild Cat Baseball League and the Girl Scout of the Limberlost Girl Scout Council.

But why a globe? What's the back story? Everyone I've asked doesn't seem to know. I'm dying of curiosity....


ida said...

good question. i remember the plaque well. i dreamed the same dream too. when i left where would i go. and i have flown out of country in many different fashions. been all over europe. lived in stuttgart germany for 3 years. been all over the middle east. was in saudia/iraq 90/91. been "behind" the iron curtain. was in europe when it came down. but, i love america the best. if you look you can find a little of most foreign countries right here in the usa.

here's a place to start. since you live near me. go to lafayette square area. across the street is a humongous grocery store that will make you feel you stepped out of america and you are in a foriegn land. go down shadeland ave into the 2800 block or so. there is a mexican grocery that has a resturant in it too. yum. go on pendelton pike around the 465/pendelton pike exit you will find a germany grocery/resturant. enjoy. at the first international market you will find live fish of all kinds, blue crab, and regular crab, lobster, and vegetables that i dont even know what they are. they have a good resturant too. enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I happen to work at the library. I do know that everyone that worked there wanted to make sure we took the globe when we moved back to our building. It is a beloved piece of our building. I am not sure why it was placed by the childrens room but I am really glad it is there. I see children everyday staring at it probably imagining the same things you did. They all seem to be in awe of it. It is a wonderful thing to behold. Imagination is so powerful.

Association President said...

Good to see you're back in the bloggin' saddle again! I remember the globe too. I have been in the new library 5-6 times now and haven't seen the globe...but now that I know it's in the childrens area, I'm going after it. I too dream of world travel, but I do so want to see more of the U.S. first.

WYA! said...

Great post- I had forgotten all about that globe.

Jim said...

One of my earliest childhood memories is that globe. I loved it.

BurnUnit said...

I still haven't been in ACPL since it was expanded and remodeled and I feel kind of bad about it now that I think about it. Remember spending more time there years ago when it was still a fairly new building and seem to recall seeing a few buckets placed inside around the exterior walls where they had some leakage issues around some of the windows.

Remember the big globe being located near the central stairway leading to the upper level. It was maybe a little too near the stairway. If you waited on the first landing till North America came into view you could see where someone with a ball point pen had marked the area approximating Ft. Wayne. I'm surprised they also didn't write "You Are Here" with an arrow pointing to the mark!

The cornucopia is still standing! But it's strange to not see it lit at night.


WV-bitasink...and you'll probably chip a tooth.