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, January 19, 1994

January 19, 1994 - baseball and art

Generally speaking, I believe that people should strive to know as much as possible. I believe that curiosity is a good thing. I admire enthusiasm for a subject -- almost any subject.

But there are a few areas of human effort about which I strive to maintain a near total ignorance. One of these areas is sports.

I suspect that it all goes back to my childhood in Illinois. In the neighborhood baseball games, I played right field. Deep, deep, right field -- somewhere, I think, in Indiana.

There are those who claim (and I suppose they're telling the truth) that they love the game of baseball. I've known otherwise fairly interesting people who have committed to memory vast databases of baseball trivia, and can reel it out for hours.

Mostly what I remember about baseball is an abiding sense of boredom, punctuated by the occasional, random bounce into my territory, and my burst of running, stooping, hurling the ball toward home plate ... and then more boredom.

Once somebody took me to a live baseball game in Chicago. I did enjoy watching the crowd. The hot dog was great -- as only a Chicago hot dog can be great. But the game itself was a major league yawner. And why anyone would want to subject themselves to watching baseball ON TV is utterly beyond my comprehension.

I have been informed that Denver now has its own baseball team. To tell you the absolute truth, I don't even know what its name is. I'm sure I've heard it before. And I COULD look it up. But baseball happens to fall into one of my areas of carefully preserved ignorance.

Nonethless, I do understand that this quirk of my character puts me in the distinct minority. We have lots of baseball fans, not only in Douglas County, but within the library district as a whole.

So from January 17 to January 22, the Philip S. Miller Library will proudly display a scale model of the Coors Field. Underwritten by Coors, this exhibit is the object of great curiosity and interest throughout the Denver metropolitan area -- we've already received a lot of phone calls about it.

Accompanying the exhibit will also be a display of books about baseball. I am confident that there will be an enthusiastic audience for both. Catch it if you can.

In addition to the Coors Field display, the Philip S. Miller Library is hosting an exhibit sponsored by the Douglas County Schools' "Adopt A School" program. It features student art work. You can see this one right now, and it will be running through February 25.

It happens that I have about as much artistic TALENT as I have interest in baseball. But there's a difference: art does interest me, and I have been very impressed over the past several years at the quality of the artwork produced by Douglas County students. This year's exhibit has some superb pieces. It's worth a look.

Following that exhibit, we'll have what branch manager Holly Deni calls "the ever-popular 'things found in our books' display." You can only begin to imagine.

Taken together, we've got a little something for everybody -- and the promise of other new and even controversial exhibits in the future.

At your public library, it pays to keep your eyes open. You never know when something might drop out of the sky and ... wake you up.

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