Evenings Upstairs


AUGUST 16, 2018

The Civilian Conservation Corps in Southern IL and Western KY

Presented by Kay Rippelmeyer, author of Giant City State Park and the Civilian Conservation Corps & The Civilian Conservation Corps in Southern Illinois

Join us for an inspiring presentation including many personal tales of deprivation, hard work, and of hope!

The Civilian Conservation Corps was the beginning of the environmental movement in the country, as conservation measures were taught to all the enrollees and taken home with them. It was a radical experiment and the least criticized of all FDR's New Deal programs.

This program will illustrate the CCC camps, their physical and organizational structure, work projects, sports and educational programs, from 1933-1942. CCC camps were located in many small towns of every state, including  southern  Illinois and western Kentucky. The CCC was one of the government's most popular programs and was a life saver for many families during the Depression.

Kay Rippelmeyer received a Bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois in English Education, Master’s degree in Literature at Southern Illinois University and PhD in American Culture.

At SIU Carbondale, Rippelmeyer worked at Special Collections in Morris Library and at the University Museum, researching and writing about southern Illinois history and directing several grant programs She also worked as a private consultant/researcher for the Illinois State Museum, the Nature Conservancy, the Dept. of Natural Resources, the Dixon Springs Ag Center, and the Barkhausen Wetlands Center. 

Rippelmeyer retired from SIU in 2008 to finish two books that she had been researching since 1987. The first published in 2010 was Giant City State Park and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Her second book, The Civilian Conservation Corps in Southern Illinois, published in February 2015, received the superior achievement award for scholarship from the Illinois State Historical Society in 2016. She currently serves as program liaison for the Illinois Humanities Council.  

August 16, 2018 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room

All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net



SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

Children of Promise

With Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham.

The setting is the mid-fifties when D.D. Eisenhower is President, Elvis is King, and the country is at rest. In this presentation, Cunningham will discuss his praised work of fiction, which draws from many of his real life experiences, chronicling life in both a town and a time which was closing out an endearing and romantic era of the American South.

"A little bit of the Cumberland River is in Bill Cunningham's bloodstream, and it flows freely in this enchanting novel of remembrance", John Egerton, author of the critically-acclaimed Generations, Southern Food, and award-winning, Speak Now Against the Day.

Before becoming a member of the state's highest court, Cunningham served as a circuit court judge for 15 years. He was the Eddyville city attorney from 1974 to 1991 and public defender for the Kentucky State Penitentiary from 1974 to 1976. He served as the Commonwealth's Attorney for the 56th Judicial District from 1976 to 1988. During his tenure in that position, he was voted the Outstanding Commonwealth Attorney of Kentucky by his peers.

Cunningham is the author of the acclaimed best seller, On Bended Knees. He has written six books on regional history, all of which chronicle the struggles for justice in western Kentucky since the Civil War.

A book signing will follow the presentation.

September 13, 2018 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room

All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net


Evenings Upstairs - Tales from Bloody Breathitt

OCTOBER 4, 2018

Tales From Bloody Breathitt - Ghosts of Appalachia

With Jerry Deaton, author and filmmaker.

Jerry Deaton always liked a good ghost story. They sent shivers up his spine. And they brought back moments in time when life was entirely different than what it is now. Deaton also knows that Breathitt County, along with Eastern Kentucky and entire Appalachian region of America, is a hotbed of ghost stories.

In this presentation ,Deaton will share some of his stories and talk about folklore and literature from around Appalachia.

Deaton is an author, filmmaker and playwright from Frankfort, Ky. Jerry has published two books on his home county of Breathitt, including Appalachian Ghost Stories; Tales from Bloody Breathitt, and Kentucky Boy, My Life in Twenty Words.

He has also produced two documentary films on eastern Kentucky, including The Feuds of Bloody Breathitt, and Harry Caudill, Man of Courage.

He is a retired lobbyist for cities in the state of Kentucky and also served as a committee staffer for the Kentucky General Assembly for eight years. He currently lives in Frankfort, where he writes and runs a small inn in Lexington.

The program is funded in part by the Kentucky Humanities an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

October 4, 2018 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room

All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net



NOVEMBER 15, 2018

The History of Fort Campbell

Led by John O'Brien, Post Historian at Fort Campbell

The mission at Fort Campbell has changed over the past seventy-five years, and the city has grown and adapted to meet new challenges. It was conceived before Pearl Harbor as the Tennessee-Kentucky Armor Camp and has progressed in recent years to meet changing national security needs and the transformation of the U.S. Army. The fort is home to the army's most elite air assault and airborne units. It is also the largest employer in Tennessee and Kentucky and puts $2.6 billion into the local economy each year.

Author and post historian John O'Brien will discuss the historic ride that took Fort Campbell from a "Giant Bachelor City" to a "World-Class Army Home."

John J. O'Brien retired from a twenty-year active duty military career as a lieutenant colonel of infantry. He is currently an army historian assigned as the installation historian at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He has a BA in government, an MA in political science, an MMAS in military theory and history from the Command and General Staff College and School of Advanced Military Studies, and is a doctoral candidate in U.S. history at Saint Louis University.

November 15, 2018 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room

All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net



DECEMBER 6, 2018

Evenings Upstairs - 19th Century Steamboats Built at Communities along the Lower Ohio River

Presented by Robert Swenson, emeritus SIU Associate Professor of Architecture, retired architect, and Heritage Preservation Consultant.

Mr. Swenson will present his on-going research about 19th Century Steamboats built at towns along the Lower Ohio River. Born 1941 and raised on the lower Ohio, Mr. Swenson will share research obtained from over 50 libraries, museums, and research centers throughout the inland river system, and personal memories growing up in Metropolis - riding on the Delta Queen and listening to the late night sounds of the deep mellow steam whistles on the river while trying to sleep on hot muggy summer nights. He will share research about the over 260 steamers known to be built at Smithland, Paducah, Metropolis, Mound City, and Cairo beginning in the 1820s through the 1930s. The story includes boats that played significant roles during the Civil War, boats built for the Missouri River trade during the Gold Rush, railroad ferries, logging boats, and the 327 foot long "cotton boat" Mary Belle, one of the largest ever to ply the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers in the 1870s.

Using digital slides supported by video clips and music, Swenson will discuss the complexity of river transportation problem-solving as part of a bigger story of the evolution of the lumber-milling, metallurgy, wood-craft, and steamboat building industries from the upper to the lower Ohio River. He will discuss hull design and engineering difficulties related to large floating wooden structures that carry heavy loads and subject to challenging river and weather conditions. Stern-wheel, center-wheel, and side-wheel propulsion systems, wood post and "Hog-chains" structural systems, and various boat types including "packet", "tow", "excursion", "cotton boat", "railroad or wagon ferry", "mail boat", "showboat", "photographer's boat", "wharf boat", "propeller tug", "snag boat", or combinations of these various functions will also be discussed. Questions and conversation will follow.

Robert Swenson, Architect is an Emeritus Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He was born in Rosiclare, IL in 1941. He is a Registered/Licensed Architect Illinois (1974-2017) and Missouri (in-active), has a BA Design & Community Development - Southern Illinois University 1965 and Master of Architecture - Yale University 1969. His private practice since 1983 includes historic preservation / restoration projects from Cairo to Springfield, Illinois and Paducah, Kentucky, single and multi-family housing, rural health clinics, nursing homes up-grades and additions, associate architect for the SIU Small Business Incubator facility, regional airport terminal, community centers, educational facilities (high school, junior college, and university), recreational facilities, and several neighborhood and community parks and formal Labyrinth meditation gardens.

Mr. Swenson has regularly taught courses related to architectural design, urban design, structural engineering, and professional practice in the undergraduate and graduate programs [continuing post-retirement]. He has facilitated the development of and co-taught the Preservation Summer inter-disciplinary course related to the southernmost Illinois region between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The Preservation Summer course received the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Education & Project of the Year awards from Landmarks Illinois for 2010. He received the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. Mr. Swenson is co-Director for (Co-Principal Investigator) for the Library of Congress grant to SIUC for projects related to Lewis & Clark at the Confluence of the Rivers, including a permanent memorial to Lewis & Clark at the Confluence at Cairo, permanent exhibits at the Cairo Custom House Museum and the Cairo Public Library, digitization of early 1800s era documents for the "American Memory" Collection of the Library of Congress, development of a Southern Illinois History and Culture website, and research related to the southernmost Illinois connections to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

December 6, 2018 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room

All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net


About Evenings Upstairs

Since 1994, the flagship Adult Service program series has entertained and educated the public with performances and lectures each month.

Presenters include authors, professors, entertainers, local musical acts, and more.

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