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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Recapturing the Magic

I just made a short trip over to City Hall, and a gentleman walking near me commented on how the temperature has dropped 40 degrees between Sunday and today. In a similar fashion, a muted, reflective atmosphere hangs over the library offices and cubicles this week - post-Centennial Carnival letdown? Can you remember that feeling, the day after a birthday or Christmas or some other major celebration, when the gifts were all opened, the candles blown out and life returned to normal? Our year-long Centennial Celebration took months of planning and preparation, and the finale, our Carnival last Sunday, was such a "wow" moment for us, it's a little difficult to let it go.

Luckily for me, my job here at DPPL requires me to relive the good times with you, our community, through this blog, our YouTube channel and other means. We had several staff members (David Whittingham and Gail Bradley) shooting photographs at the Centennial Carnival this weekend, and Monday evening I began the cheerful chore of sifting through the pictures in order to share them with you. I'm not sure how we arranged for it, but somehow the most beautiful, handsome and happy children all converged upon the carnival - they're right there in the pictures. Want to see for yourself? Right here on this screen you can watch a video slideshow of some of the delightful photos from our big day - an attempt to capture some of the magic. I actually get a little misty-eyed when I watch it, because the joy on peoples' faces (despite the record-high temperatures!) says so much about how important it is to celebrate as a community, to set aside the petty and insignificant differences we so often use as excuses to keep us apart. The light in the eyes of the children also speaks volumes about how the simplest things can still bring abundant happiness - root beer, cotton candy, "Bozo Buckets," a brand new book, a breezy ride on a merry-go-round, an oompah band -
even in this age of high-tech gadgets and gizmos (of which I, obviously, am a big fan). Watch the slideshow and see if you agree with that sentiment. You may just find your own family in the pictures.

We're so grateful to everyone who celebrated with us on Sunday. Also, we owe tremendous thanks to all who gave us special help along the way: the Des Plaines History Center, the Friends of the Library, Rotary Club of Des Plaines, Des Plaines Public Works, Target Corporation, Citibank, the Antique Automobile Club of America Cadillac and LaSalle Chapter, Marcia Guti
érrez, Jimmy's Bavarians Show Band, the Prairie Brass Band, the Chordmasters, our fabulous clowns, airbrush artist and stiltwalker, those who tirelessly served food and drinks, ran the carousel - and I'm not even including all of the library staff members who put in countless hours of effort to make this tremendous event somehow appear effortless and easy.

We celebrated our past - now let's create our future. Were you there at the Carnival on Sunday? Please post your comments here - we know we had a wonderful day but we'd love to hear from you, too.

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