This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, April 3, 1991

April 3, 1991 - Night of a Thousand Stars

Many years ago, I delivered a man's car from Chicago to Tucson. I drove straight through, stopping only to respond to the irresistible dictates of nature. About half way through the journey, at around two in the morning, I stopped in a small town somewhere just south of Colorado for coffee.

When I stepped out of the car and looked up, I gasped. You see, I had grown up in an area that was both very humid and had a lot of big city lights. As a result, I'd never seen more than a handful of stars in the night sky.

But in the high, dry atmosphere of northern New Mexico, the stars were so thick, and they looked so close, that for an instant, I reached to brush them from my hair.

For me, that was a Night of a Thousand Stars.

For Douglas County, the Night of a Thousand Stars will be on April 17, at Ponderosa High School, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. (Actually, it's the "Night of a Thousand Stars Celestial Celebrity Read Aloud," but let's not be too picky.)

The Parker/Franktown area school libraries and the Douglas Public Library District have teamed up to celebrate National Library Week (Sunday, April 14, through Saturday, April 20).

The "Night of a Thousand Stars" will feature cowboy poets, storytellers, a mime, an Olympic athlete, and other notables.

Space - and tickets - are limited. So please contact your local Parker/Franktown area school, or the Parker Library, to get your tickets while they last.

Incidentally, even the people coming to the event can be stars. Everyone is encouraged to bring a can of food, which will be collected at the gate, and donated to the local food bank. While people tend to be generous with food around holidays, hunger takes no vacations.

And for those of you who don't happen to live in the Parker/Franktown area, remember than you can be stars in your own home.

Pick an evening to announce to your family that "Appearing tonight, in a command performance, are those great interpreters of children's classics, YOUR MOM AND DAD!" Then gather in your living room, turn off the tube, crack open a book, and let it shine. Then let your children give it a try.

In the days before television, reading aloud to each other used to be one of the greatest pleasures of family life (as well as a way to keep your reading skills sharp).

Perhaps the brightest light of our times is still to be found in the printed (and read-aloud) word. And what better time than National Library Week to seek out the very best of meant-to-be-shared stories?

The family that glows together, grows together.

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