Tag Archives: hoboken

Diplomacy and Baseball: A Peak inside HPL’s Vertical Files

25 Jan

This is the first in a series of monthly blog posts that give insight into Hoboken History by taking a look at materials in our History Collection.

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Image Courtesy of the Jersey Journal

In the summer of 1988, a group of teenage boys from Hoboken was tasked with a very important diplomatic mission. The boys, all 14 and 15 years old, were members of a baseball team traveling to the Soviet Union to play the game abroad and hopefully improve relations between Soviet and American youth. The team, renamed the Hoboken Ambassadors for the trip, embarked on a multi-city tour of the Soviet Union, playing multiple Soviet teams (usually made up of players several years older than them), exploring the country, and eating unusual foods, and the entire journey was dutifully reported day by day in both the Jersey Journal and Hudson Dispatch.

Baseball in the Soviet Union wasn’t the most fun part of the trip – the Ambassadors went undefeated against players who were physically stronger and older than they were, but lacked the baseball experience that they had – but the boys reported that they greatly enjoyed meeting the people in the three cities they stopped at on their whirlwind tour, Moscow, Kiev, and Tblisi. This was perhaps the actual most important part of their trip, as they were serving as cultural envoys for the United States at a crucial time in the history of the Cold War (Perestroika was well underway and Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech had occurred approximately one year before the tour). The Ambassadors all spoke to how meaningful the trip was for them and how friendly and accommodating the Soviets they met were, although there were definitely some things left to be desired: second baseman Rickey Huggins stated the first thing he wanted to do upon arriving home was “going to White Castle,” whilst infielder/pitcher Blair Degaeta Jr. planned to “go to Biggie’s and order a cheesesteak and fries.”

The Hoboken Ambassadors vertical file has been completely digitized and, along with 286 other subject files, can be found on the Hoboken Public Library website. To read the Ambassadors’ entire story chronologically, go here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W1t2Nnk4oLsC9lGNpa2eVk4L8j_60nvo/view

If you’re more interested in other historical subjects, all 287 vertical files can be perused at your leisure here: https://hobokenlibrary.org/history-collection/hoboken-vertical-files/

Hoboken Library cardholders can also access full back issues of new and older newspapers online including the Jersey Journal from NewsBank.

Love Baseball?  Stop by the library on Saturday, January 26 at noon, for A Society for American Baseball Research Meet Greet and Lecture.

Written By:
Steph Diorio
Local History Librarian/Archivist

Steph loves writing and talking about the collections under her care, so feel free to ask her to talk about any of the historical materials at the library and setup a research appointment.

Cat Fiction and Nonfiction for Feline Fanciers

28 Feb

You may remember I wrote a post about service dog’s for National Guide Dog Month, which is in September, but my heart truly belongs to another furry beast, the cat.  My beloved fur baby Vlad passed away recently and in his honor I wanted to look at some fun feline fiction and nonfiction available from BCCLS Libraries for all the cat ladies (and cat guys) out there.

The Cat Who Series by Lilian Jackson Braun

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I once read that mystery books with cats on the cover tend to sell more.   The charming story of retired journalist Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum who solve crimes is probably my favorite in the cozy/cat genre.  The first in the series The Cat Who Could Read Backwards was published in 1968, but the majority of the books were published between the late 1980’s to mid 2000’s.  The last novel was set to be published in 2008, but The Cat Who Smelled Smoke remains a mystery due to being first postponed due to the author’s failing health and then her passing in 2011.  Although this left certain plot lines unresolved, the previous 29 books are perfect for curling up with some cocoa on a chilly winter evening.  The series was so popular, there was even a parody written by Robert Kaplow, The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun published in 2003.

Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

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Another mystery series doesn’t just feature a cat protagonist, it also was “co-written” by a feline author, Sneaky Pie Brown, who along with his human companion Rita Mae Brown have created a 26 book series with 27 (Probable Claws) scheduled to come out in May.

Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat by Kaori Tsutaya and translated from the Japanese by Amy Hirschman

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If your cat is too busy taking naps in sun beams to write a bestselling mystery series, they can still assist you in creativity with Kaori Tsutaya’s Crafting with Cat Hair which allows you to make cat hair finger puppets and appliques from the piles of cat hair that you have left behind post brushing.  As someone who once was the owner of a herd of three shedding Persians, I was greatly amused by this book and Tsutaya creativity.

Dinner Pawsible: A Cookbook of Nutritious, Homemade Meals for Cats and Dogs by Cathy Alinovi

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I have been guilty of occasionally splurging and treating my furry friends to gourmet food, but with Dinner Pawsible you can create your own yummy well balanced meal for your furbabies that can be healthier and less expensive than what you buy at the store.  The sixty recipes for cat and dog food were created by a veterinarian certified in food therapy and an advocate for pet food safety and are based on the National Research Council requirements for dogs and cats, but still always check in with your own vet, especially if your pet has special dietary restrictions before changing their diets.

Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself by Carin Oliver

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If the winter’s chill is keeping you in and has you looking for fun projects than check out Carin Oliver’s Cat Castles.  Included are instructions for making cardboard trains, ships, food trucks, rockets, and other hideaways for your feline friends along with information for scratching pads that can divert sharp claws away from your furniture.  Let other plebian cats curl up in shoe boxes, your cat can lounge and play in style with these easy to assemble and inexpensive crafts.

James Dean’s Pete the Cat Picture Book Series

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Our Hoboken Public Library Patrons may remember Pete the Cat won the library’s election that our Children’s Department ran for kid’s pick for Story Book Characters for President race.  For those not familiar with our first kitty pick, Pete the Cat is a cartoon cat with a talent for the guitar. Originally a self-published work, the books in the Pete the Cat series have sold more than seven million copies and have spent a combined 230 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list according to a 2014 Publisher Weekly article; that is a lot of feline fans!

The Warriors Series by Erin Hunter

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Older children (ages 10 and up), may want to instead check out Erin Hunter’s imaginative fantasy series which debuted with the novel Into the Wild and features a world shared by four tribal cat clans.  Hunter takes typical cat behaviors and creates an elaborate mythology and social structure around them.

Let us know about some of your feline favorites in our comment section!

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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