Friday, March 14, 2008

Bye, Bear

Betsy Bird says goodbye to the bear who has been her daily companion for lo these many years. I was glad to be able to pay my respects myself last week. Betsy was out sick when Richard and I were there, but we did get to have a nice chat with John Peters, taking a break from packing up all the stuff that is the Donnell Central Children's Room. He even showed us his collection of "wishing candles," an NYPL storytelling staple introduced (if I have this right) by Mary Gould Davis in the 1920s. I was taught in library school by Ellin Greene that one would give, say, a birthday child the privilege of snuffing the candle at the close of story hour, but John tells me that in these more egalitarian times, everybody gets to make a wish and blow the candle out.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that
Donnell is about to vanish into the cellar of a luxury hotel! It was a valued resource to adults and children.

Anonymous said...

The Brits do want their Pooh back!

A.D.

Roger Sutton said...

As do the Greeks their Marbles!

tiselfar said...

maybe there could be a sort of tri-national hostage exchange.

KT Horning said...

Roger, the tradition may have varied from librarian to librarian. In Ellen Tarry's 1946 book "My Dog Rinty," the photograph of a story hour in the Harlem Branch shows Augusta Baker allowing all the children to make a wish and blow out the candle.