Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Thursday, March 28, 2013

We're Haunted, Pretty Much

"Flat" Cauli VI's recent expedition to Willard Library reminded moi about my own Library's paranormal activities.  We had professional investigators visit last summer (2012), and they discovered some strange happenings throughout the building.  The group (Hoosier Ghost Investigators [HGI]) encountered spontaneous psychokinetic (PK) activity, electronic voice phenomena (EVP), anomalous sounds, electromagnetic (EM) disturbances, and sudden temperature changes.  Programma Mama arranged the investigation on behalf of MPL, and she was present at the proceedings, along with Savvy, who has now departed us, but not in the spirit way, thankfully!

We've got a handout that explains HGI's paranormal discoveries along with a map showing locations of such activities.  Click here for the handout.

Considerable paranormal activity occurred in the library basement.  EM interference appeared to disrupt a flashlight's beam without mechanically altering the on/off switch.  (The flashlight was fully functional and otherwise operated perfectly.)  The team captured some video using somebody's cell phone.  Click the video boxes below to play.

Some of the EM flashlight interference seemed intelligently driven, but more experiments would need to be conducted to replicate these results if they are to be more than simply suggestive of paranormality.  The spontaneous PK movement from the Indiana Roving Reporter Room bookshelf was pretty impressive.

Let's move from psychical science to folklore.  Haunted places as folklore become part of a society's legendary collective storytelling.  As stories passing through the cultural consciousness, they are interesting without the need for veridical evidence.  As such, we may speculate freely about possible causes.  Some of the purportedly spiritualistic communications secured in the library basement appeared to come from disembodied entities identifying themselves as former MPL director Bonita Marley (1906-2002) and Mooresville school teacher and librarian Marian Adams (1920-2000).  Although this has not been verified as genuine spiritual interchange (from a parapsychological standpoint), it makes for great folklore and gives one pause for thought.

We hope HGI offers additional programs at my Library.  The one last summer was intriguing and informative.  We even made a promo trailer beforehand.

MPL Program Trailer #27
Ghost Hunters at the Library

Be sure to attend if HGI has another program.  You'll really enjoy it. Meanwhile, visit the Library to see if anything paranormal happens to you. Anything's possible.  Just ask Scowl-Face.  He knows a little about the subject.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

P.S.  If you're interested in paranormal books, watch our book trailer playlists.  We've got one for nonfiction and another for fiction.

Libraries & Old Dewey

Way back in 2011, Broadway Gal conceived of a music parody video showcasing my Library's programs, collections, resources, staff, and volunteers.  She wanted to use the music from the country classic, "Rocky Top" (1967), by the Osborne Brothers.  She found a professional musical duo (Theresa and Dave) to record her parody lyrics to the music.  (Get your own custom song from them at  Then the project beached itself on a sand bar for all of last year, because we were busier than the proverbial stinging non-dinners (or bees, if you prefer), what with our 100th anniversary bigbash, the new website, the new voice-over IP phone system, weeding the adult collections, continuous programs, etc.  So the project languished.  Then Broadway Gal left us.

Fortunately, we're nothing if not resilient at MPL.  This month, Scowl-Face decided to complete the project.  Here's the result.  We hope you enjoy it.

Libraries and Old Dewey, by Broadway Gal & MPL Staff & Volunteers
Music Performed by Theresa & Dave
(Credits Instrumental by iTunes)

You can see how much fun it is to work at my Library!

Thanks to Broadway Gal for shooting the opening and closing video footage, and for MPL staff and volunteers who participated in filming.  Thanks to Theresa & Dave for recording a great rendition of Broadway Gal's parody lyrics to the tune of "Rocky Top."  (You may watch them performing in the video below.)  Thanks to YouTube for not tagging our video as containing third-party copyrighted content (we claim the parody/satire exception under federal copyright law).

Libraries and Old Dewey, performed by Theresa & Dave (2011)
(Parody of "Rocky Top")
(They'll record your custom song at

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

P.S.  Here's a video clip of the Osborne Brothers performing "Rocky Top" live.  Of course it's live; how else would they perform it?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

See a Bear Hibernate With His Eyes Open

See a bear hibernating with his eyes open!

Queenie's MOOvelous MOOvies @ MPL:
Early Literacy Fun at the Library
(for the Week of March 24-30, 2013)

Queenie should be doing a video EVERY week.  Just saying, minions.  Crafty Gal, make it so.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

P.S.  Thanks to the permanence of Internet audio-video, author Bill Martin, Jr. (1916-2004) reads his classic children's picture book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, first published in 1967.  Check it out using your Evergreen Indiana library card, if you've got one, naturally.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Flat Six Visits New Harmony

Last Saturday, "Flat" Cauli VI (Flat Six for short) and two of my minions visited historic New Harmony, Indiana.  The University of Southern Indiana's official New Harmony website does a wonderful job handling the historical details, so I won't re-invent the wheel by repeating them here.  My minions took some photos, however, which we can include.  Click the pictures to bigify.

 (Part of) Modern Downtown New Harmony, Indiana

Historic New Harmony Atheneum
(Shaped like an early 19th century Wabash River barge)

 Plaque Identifying David Dale Owen's House

David Dale Owen's Home
Carp Weather Vane

(Converted to one of David Dale Owen's geological laboratories)

Typical Harmonite Home

An Original Harmonite Home

Replicas of Early Harmonite Log Cabins

Communal kitchen (left) & one of four communal boarding houses (right)

 Model of George Rapp's Second (i.e., Brick) Church

Click Image to Bigify

 Diorama of the Rappites' Harmony (i.e., Harmonie or New Harmony) Settlement
(subsequently purchased by Robert Owen)


Flat Six & Scowl-Face next to a replica of the
Harmony map when the town was sold
from George Rapp to Robert Owen

Town Plat showing original and subsequent structures

Another Town Plat map

Of particular interest to my minions was the New Harmony Workingmen's Institute Library, which is the last such public library existing in Indiana. My Library was started as a Workingmen's Institute lending library in 1855.

New Harmony Workingmen's Institute Library & Museum

Flat Six was fascinated by the old steel bridge, now closed, that once connected Indiana to Illinois (or vice versa) across the Wabash River.

Flat Six & the Lady With the Red Hair
(Hopefully above flood stage)

One historical tidbit that captured Flat Six's full attention was the fact that the Rappites, who were internationally-renowned craftspeople who sold their goods to 22 American states and several foreign countries, used many different animals to make leather, including--brace yourselves--slobberdogs!  We were shocked, to be sure, but not as much as had they used felines.  That would have been absolutely outrageous!

There was a tremendous amount of interesting history to be found at New Harmony.  We highly recommend that you visit.  You will be amazed at how German immigrants (and, subsequently, intellectuals of various nationalities) could become so fully self-sufficient living in what was a truly untamed wilderness that was Indiana 200 years ago.

If that paragraph didn't persuade you, try these videos.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

P.S.  At the risk of offending more sensitive readers, here's "Rappite Fever"(2012), by the New Harmonies.  Listen to the rap lyrics; they're pretty historically accurate. This type of parody is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to important segments of our history.  They want viewers to have fun while learning actual historical details.  Who says history is boring?

Yes, It's STILL Snowing! Grrrrrrrrrrr . . .

Yes, it's STILL snowing at my Library!  Lightly, I'll admit, but really, this is getting ridiculous.

 MPL Courtyard
(Looking North)
(Click Images to Bigify)

 MPL Courtyard
(Looking East Northeast Toward
Our Outdoor Digital Sign)

 Heavy Snow, Says That Pine Tree

Warm & Cozy Inside My Library

Here in Indiana, we don't expect nearly a foot of snow a week before Easter.  If we lived in Minnesota, like Browser the Pine River (MN) Public Library Cat, we would be accustomed to snowfall until June (well, not quite that late, but late enough).  When Scowl-Face and the Lady With the Red Hair moved to Montana a quarter century ago, it snowed in late May and again in August.  But that's WAAAAAY far north compared to where I live.

Perhaps we're just softies, but snow this late in the season is a real bummer for us Hoosiers.  Flowers have already started popping out of the ground to be greeted by Arctic cold last week and a ton of snow now.  Not very welcoming, Mother Nature.  Just saying.

Visit the Library to get (and stay) warm!

This winter blast will all be gone by week's end, but that's not the point. It's a matter of principle.  The end of March is no time for December/January weather.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

P.S.  "First Snow on Brooklyn," by Jethro Tull, was featured on The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (2003).  It seemed like a good choice as musical closer, given our weather lately.  Maybe this is OUR first snow of next winter!  That's just grim.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Thousand-to-One Blizzard

A statewide blizzard during the last week of March in Indiana?  What are the odds, do you suppose?  A thousand-to-one against?  Well, that would be a convenient segue for this blog post.  This is my 1,000th posting.  Now all we need is a winter storm to dump a foot of snow on us.

Sorry I asked.

This is what conditions looked like around one of my "home hangouts" (i.e., where I spend time when not hanging around outside my Library).  The snow was only a few inches deep then.  It's now over six inches deep and still coming down steadily.  My minions braved the blizzard to snap these pix.  Click the images to bigify.

At the top of the hill (back in those woods in some of the photos above) is the house at which I spend most of my away-from-the-library time, which, as cold as our weather has been around here lately, is pretty much all the time.  I may be a freedom feline, but I'm no fool.  I'll stay indoors curled up on a blanket instead of stomping through the snow drifts any day.

This isn't how I imagined writing my 1,000th blog posting.  I conceived of cases of canned tuna-in-oil, television celebrity interviews, and a huge public bigbash at my Library.  Instead, I'll be lucky to get as bowl of dry food and maybe watch some TV.  Tune-in to Animal Planet, if you please. Finding Bigfoot starts at 10 pm.  (Guess I've missed it now, judging from the time of this posting.)  Well, there's always Too Cute Saturdays at 8 pm.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

P.S.  Danny and the Juniors released "A Thousand Miles Away" (above) around a thousand years ago.  Okay, it was more recently than that (1960).  These dudes rode the doo-wop train from Philadelphia to the big time during the late 1950s into the early 1960s.  Who hasn't heard "At the Hop" (1957)?  That's worth a listen, I'd venture.  Click the music player below to hear the group's biggest hit (a number one single).

Puttin' on the Reitz

In 1871, Midwest lumber baron John Augustus Reitz built his family home in what is now known as the Riverside Historic District in downtown Evansville, Indiana.  "Flat" Cauli VI (Flat Six for short) and my minions stopped by to see this resplendent house.  Click the images below to bigify.

 Side Entrance Used Daily by the Reitz Family

 Reitz House and Carriage House (on Right)

 Formal Front Entrance

Flat Six & the Lady With the Red Hair
on Their Way to Start the Tour

(Actually, that last photo was taken following the tour, but it's more dramatic telling it this way.)

I'd like to show you photos from inside--it is a truly magnificent home--but my team was unable to take any.  The Evansville Courier & Press has several superb photos available from a 2011 tour.

I'll leave it to the Reitz House Museum's informative website to provide historical details about the Reitz family, their many philanthropic deeds, and their wonderful residence.

I guess there's not much more to add, really.  We usually focus upon the visual during our field trips for this blog, and you may read the official histories yourself.

If you're going to Evansville, take the Reitz Home tour.  It is a fabulously restored historical experience.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

P.S.  In 2007, volunteers from Vectren cleaned Reitz Home, as this minute-video clip explains.  You can see a few interior and exterior scenes in this clip.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Beyond Willard Library's Ghosts

Everybody asks the hard-working folks at Willard Public Library, in Evansville, Indiana, about the supernatural activities there.  My crack team of minion journalists ("Flat" Cauli VI, or Flat Six for short; the Lady With the Red Hair; and Scowl-Face) really wanted to learn more about Willard's "ordinary" library services.  Before ol' Scowlly's encounter with the vanishing green figure, my team took some preliminary photos at the library entrance.  (Click here to see the library exterior.  And again here. One more time.)  As always, click the images below to bigify.

 "Flat" Cauli VI hams it up for the camera
by the historical marker outside Willard's entrance

The Lady With the Red Hair helps Flat Six
stand tall outside Willard's entrance

My group first explored the basement and Willard's children's department. The environment was cozy--the stacks made you feel as if caring arms surrounded you--and there was an intimacy in the environs that made you feel comfortable and safe.  We're guessing that this effect was by design, and it's an ingenious touch.  There was a separate area with built-in riser (i.e., stair-step) seating that afforded both a playful and engaging interactive space for young children.

Floor-to-ceiling shelving puts protective "arms" around 
a child-sized table in Willard's children's department

Built-in, carpeted riser seats
create a safe, relaxed reading space

My favorite book on display

Beautiful miniature playhouse also on display
in Willard's children's department

Following Scowl-Face's possibly paranormal encounter in the basement restroom, my minions visited the main floor, which houses Willard's adult services department.  There they discovered an egg tree, which especially appealed to Flat Six (she's fond of eggs).

Willard Egg Tree
in adult services area

 Willard Adult Services Desk

Some stacks in Willard's adult collections
(Egg Tree, too)

There are several impressive portraits and artwork hanging upon the walls throughout the library.  We didn't take too many pictures of these, as flash photography can damage sensitive paintings.  Here's one from the second floor's special collections department.

Library Founder Willard Carpenter
(in delightful stained glass)
watches, ever-vigilant, high above activities
on the second floor below

The second floor also houses Willard's genealogy, local history, and archival departments.  This particularly intrigued Scowl-Face, who once was MPL Indiana Room librarian (and has a blog to show for it).  He was practically beside himself when he discovered original bound editions of Sanborn maps for Evansville.  He carefully examined the 1910 maps.

 Sanborn Maps
(specially bound)

Priceless historical details about Evansville's
buildings & their uses in 1910

Flat Six saw some interesting historical furniture adjacent to patron reading tables in the special collections area.

Also on the second floor is the meeting room, which exudes authority amidst quiet dignity.  Many were the landmark discussions held here, shaping the library's services since its doors opened to the public in 1885. At least, that's the feeling Flat Six and my minions experienced.

The magnificent ornate staircase connects Willard's three levels.  Flat Six wanted to slide down the banisters, but the Lady With the Red Hair intervened.  Safety first, Flat Six.

Experience Willard Library for yourselves when you visit Evansville (you know you want to).  Did you know that Indiana residents may obtain a Willard library card free-of-charge?  Now you do.

Visit Willard's website for more information about the library.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

P.S.  WTIU-Channel 30, a PBS affiliate at Indiana University-Bloomington, presented a brief (12-minute) film about Willard Public Library's history in 2012.  Nicely done!