Saturday afternoons and evenings are usually down time for Loretta and me.
We simply don’t get out much after we’ve used up the movie gift certificates the kids gave us for Christmas. That means we mostly go to the movies to avoid guilt trips because our kids do work hard for their money.
But last Saturday, after half a dozen reminders, we decided to attend a “Valentine murder mystery” titled “Dying for Love” at the Garrard County Public Library. It turned out to be the most fun and best entertainment I’ve had since Little League baseball season ended last summer.
As most regular readers of Points East already know, I am a huge fan of libraries in general and mystery fiction in particular. This affliction began for me in fourth grade with Nancy Drew and then The Hardy Boys and evolved into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jane Austen, until finally I couldn’t resist anything printed in the mystery genre.
It really would require the rest of the space allotted me in this column to list the authors who have entertained me over the decades and who continue to dominate my reading habit to this day. I fit my good friend and retired librarian Linda Caldwell’s accusation of being a “mystery snob.”
While in college and later as a young adult, I used to enjoy weekend-long murder mystery-solving outings that were staged at state parks and other venues. Guests spent Friday evenings through Sunday mornings attempting to solve staged murders by figuring out whodunit. For over a decade in the late 1960s and into the late ’70s, these outings were very popular and very competitive.
Last Saturday’s program at our library was a condensed version of one of these more complicated events. But like one of them, it similarly involved the presentation of a fictional murder, complete with murder scene, corpse, weapon, several suspects and numerous clues scattered throughout the library.
We were told that a play had been scheduled for us, but had to be called off because the star of the show had been murdered and all the supporting cast and stage hands were currently in the custody of local police.
The audience was tasked with locating and deciphering the clues and ultimately determining who committed the murder.
We were supposed to form and work as investigative teams. Lo and I were team “Sherlock ain’t Home.” But we rather quickly disbanded when Loretta asked one of the librarians, “What do you do when you can’t come to agreement with the rest of your your team?”
She was told that she could go out on her own, and she promptly did just that which left yours truly working in a very familiar vacuum.
Someone asked if this was how we got along at home, and we harmonized when we both said, “Yes!” It is a system that has survived and served us pretty well for nearly 40 years.
As you might guess, all the murder suspects were avid readers and we were provided with a list of their individually-favorite books. Needless to say the titles ran us all over and into every section of the library in search of books that might contain a clue.
We also were given access to the actors’ dressing rooms where we found a variety of clues that would provide ample motive for either one of them or someone else closely associated with the play to want to kill off Austin Jane, who would have been the star of the show.
The prime suspects included the cleverly-named leading lady, Holly Wood, supporting actor Hugh Mann, director/producer Bea Goode, stage manager Justin Thyme and volunteer usher Anita Mann. As the suspects’ names implied, we participants were to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously.
As far as I’m concerned, the event succeeded in spades. I certainly know a lot more about my library now than I did last Saturday morning, and if that were possible, I probably appreciate it more. I’ve already told you that I had more fun than I might have had if I’d shelled out $100 for entertainment.
If asked what reasons I like most about living in Paint Lick, I would list among the top five, the fact that I can be in one of three wonderful public libraries in less than fifteen minutes when I find myself bored.
Fewer than 20 Garrard Countians were at last Saturday’s event, and that’s a pity because the worst Scrooge in the county would have enjoyed it.
Saturday afternoons and evenings are usually down time for Loretta and me.
Education a priority? Don’t believe it
They did it – more or less.
They got a budget, they got a road plan and they got out of town on time.
Did you miss small business health-care tax credit?
A Kentucky professional who owns his own business found that he missed getting the health-care tax credit.
Compromise is not that simple
It’s tempting for a casual onlooker to wonder why the Democratic House and Republican Senate can’t make what on the surface looks like the obvious compromise on pension reform.
The Senate passed a measure based on recommendations of a task force to move new employees into a hybrid, cash-balance plan but maintain existing defined benefits for current employees and retirees.
Frankfort plays ping-pong with public pension transparency
Legislation that would make the Kentucky Retirement Systems transparent for those paying its bills has danced into the spotlight during the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Passage of transparency bills filed by Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, and Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, would make the “names, status, projected or actual benefit payments” subject to our commonwealth’s superlative Open Records Act.
The case of the ghostly neighbor
Wilbur lived in a world of fears. Everything frightened him. The full extent of his courage was to admit that he had none.
Noises in the middle of the night, his own shadow creeping up on him and, most of all, black cats scared the wits out of him.
So, picture his chagrin, one day, when he came home from vacation only to discover that a mausoleum had been erected on property adjacent to his home.
Provisional concealed-carry law passes Senate unanimously
Things are staying busy in Frankfort. Many bills are making their way onto the Senate floor from various committees. This past week several important pieces of legislation were debated and passed.
I am particularly proud of the success we had in advocating for Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
I introduced Senate Bill 106 to allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional CCDW permit from the Kentucky State Police in one business day. In some of these cases, victims need this type of protection as quickly as possible.
50 years makes a world of difference
I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law.
But a few months later, I stood in front of the “Music Hall,” site of the Glasgow Junior High School located on a street named Liberty, and watched black kids “walk up the hill” of College Street on the first day of integrated schools in Glasgow.
Coal has kept Kentuckians warm this winter
This winter, temperatures across the country dipped to historic lows. Here in our home state of Kentucky, the near-arctic climate caused increased power demand which resulted in an incredible strain on the electric grid and rising energy costs.
Protecting citizens’ data is a no-brainer
Target Corp. is learning the hard way: The price is steep for retailers who don’t protect customers’ sensitive financial information.
Target’s profits fell a whopping 50 percent during its fourth quarter of 2013 as the result of a massive security breach involving as many as 110 million of its customers’ credit- and debit-card accounts, which began the day before Thanksgiving and extended throughout much of the holiday shopping season.
Making plans for spring planting
My brother Keith (Keeter) probably planted peas on one of those warm days last week, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that brother Steve did likewise to try to be the first two fellows in Letcher County to actually be digging the soil in their 2014 gardens.
Keeter’s father-in-law, the late Dock Mitchell, used to get my brother to drive him a 50-mile round trip to get pea seeds and potting soil for early February planting. Dock raised mammoth melting sugar snow peas and sugar snaps around every fence on the place.
- More Viewpoints Headlines
- Education a priority? Don’t believe it