Moody Street

image from Waltham Public Library Waltham Room photo collection

Just a quick post to point you to the series that Waltham’s Daily News Tribune recently ran regarding the history and future of Moody Street. The main drag of Waltham once housed several retail stores, and has now become a fixture for several restaurants, including my favorite, Solea. The street has gone through some ups and downs, and the articles really bring some history to light for those like me who weren’t around for the days of Grover Cronin. They will surely bring back a lot of memories for those of you who were.

If you want to learn more about the history of Moody Street and other parts of Waltham, be sure to visit our Waltham room. I also recommend Waltham Rediscovered by Kristen Peterson which we have both for sale and lending. You can also look at old Grover Cronin ads by browing through our News Tribune microfilm collection.

Daily News Tribune’s Moody Street Series:

posted by Laura

Vote Early, Vote Often!

images from

As the Democratic National Convention winds down in Denver, and the Republican National Convention is gearing up for the Twin Cities, I want to remind everyone about resources available at your library and elsewhere to help you with the upcoming election. While those of you not registered to vote may have missed the deadline to register to vote for the September 16 primary, there is still plenty of time to register for the November 4 general election. Citizens have until October 15. Register at your town or city’s clerk office, or pick up a mail-in voter registration form at our reference desk. You can also download the national voter registration form at the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s website. In addition to downloading the registration form, you can use the site to find your polling place and your state and national representatives. Going to be out of town on November 4, but want a chance to participate in your country’s election? Download an absentee ballot application.

Want some reading to do over the long weekend? Why don’t you take the time to learn about the two major party’s candidates? Both candidates have written their own books about their experiences, including The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama; and Worth the Fighting For and Faith of my Fathers by John McCain. For a look at books written by authors on both sides of the aisle, take a look at our online catalog.

Online, there are several options for finding complete election coverage, but WBUR’s offical election site is one of my favorites. You can listen to speeches, and read blogs covering the conventions and the election trail. There is even a Vote by Issues quiz. Choose a candidate, and then see how much your beliefs on issues lines up with his. You may be surprised (or have what you thought confirmed).

And, as always what’s an election without having a little fun? Head down to our AV department for a copy of the CD, The First Family, a 1960’s parody of John F. Kennedy and his family. “Economy Lunch” is my favorite track, followed closely by the PSA encouraging voters to go out on election day. I knew a lot about world leaders from the 1960’s mainly because of listening to my parents’ copy of the LP. And check out Saturday Night Live’s election page. Included are videos from SNL’s 33 year history of covering presidential politics, including Phil Hartman as Bill Clinton taking a jog to McDonald’s. I hope they start including some of their skits from the 2000 election, which turned a very confusing 6 weeks into a laugh fest.

posted by Laura

Baseball Reading

images from OCLC WorldCat

Anyone who has ever spent more than a few minutes with me knows that I am a die hard Red Sox fan (pre-2004, thank-you very much).  I also enjoy reading, and so I like to combine my two interests by reading as much about baseball as I can.  Here are two of the books I have read lately about my favorite spectator sport:

  • Living on the Black by John Feinstein tells the story of the 2007 baseball season through the eyes of pitchers Tom Glavine from the New York Mets and Mike Mussina from the New York Yankees.  Both were aging pitchers who were possibly playing their final days of baseball and it was interesting to see the game from their points of view.  Even though I abhore the Yankees, I learned about pitching from “Moose” and even found myself feeling sorry for him when he was removed from the Yankees’ pitching rotation last fall.  (I did re-experience glee, however, when I read about the Yankees falling to the Cleveland Indians in four games in the American League Division Series).  As for Tom Glavine, I have always had a soft spot for him, since he hails from nearby Billerica and there is a lot to be admired about the man who may be the last pitcher with 300 victories.  I recently took this 525 page book on vacation with me, and I found it very hard to stop reading.  I not only learned a lot about pitching, but about players and teams that I don’t know as well as my beloved Red Sox.  I highly reccomend this for any baseball fan, especially for those of you who like a good pitcher’s duel.
  • Red Sox Rule by Michael Holley. There have been many books written about the local nine since the 2004 series win, some have been fantastic reads, while others more or less simply exploited the recent success of the Red Sox. Red Sox Rule falls into the first category. It’s part biography of Terry Francona and part chronicle of the 2007 championship season. I learned a lot more about Francona than I do listening to his weekly radio interviews and his daily press conferences, including his father who played baseball. The book, while giving details of the 2007 season, mostly follows the evolution of Terry Francona the baseball player to manager and how he became the first manager to lead the Red Sox to a World Series title in 86 years (and follow it up with a second title three years later).

Other books I have on my book shelf that I’m waiting to read are Clemente by David Maraniss, Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy by Jane Leavy, Dynasty by (Waltham’s own) Tony Massarotti, and A Great Day in Cooperstown by Jim Reisler.
posted by Laura


Olympic Rings image from Wikipedia

Anyone been watching the Olympics in Beijing? (Anyone traveling to Beijing to watch the Olympics?) I realize that it’s hard when there is a large time difference between us and the host country, but if you need to get your Olympic fix, the Waltham Public Library is a great place for your Olympic needs.

If you’re looking for books, go to the 2nd floor for aisle #27 and to call #796.48 (or go to the children’s room and look for the same number). There you will find books on the history of the modern Olympics.If you want to learn more about China, go to the 2nd floor for aisle #31 and call#915.1 for books about traveling and culture, or to aisle # 35 for call# 951.04 for books on the history of China.

We have Internet access that you can access on one of our desktops, or access our wireless with your laptop to get the latest about the Olympic games. For those of you who can’t wait until prime time to catch the results, here are some of the options for staying on top of everything:

And if you just want to laugh, check out this classic Saturday Night Live sketch on synchronized swimming starring Harry Shearer and Martin Short.
posted by Laura

Punk CDs at the library

While I am a huge fan of the library’s CD collection, I wish that we had more than a handful of new punk rock CDs from independent labels. We have a number of compilations, such as Punk Rock: 20 Classic Bands from the World of Mystic Records and several CDs from the PunkORama series put out by Epitaph. We also have a good amount of punk rock from the 70s and 80s, such as Stiff Little Fingers, The Damned, MC5, The Ramones, The Clash, and The Stooges.

To remedy this situation, I spoke with Deb, The head of our Audio Visual Department, and she said that we should order a few new releases and see how often they get checked out. If they end up being popular, we will order a bunch more, but right now we’re going to start off small. Last week, we got the new No Use for a Name, the not so new Flogging Molly, and, by the end of the month, we should have the new Gaslight Anthem album.

I know that it’s a slow start, but our punk rock collection will grow. Come on in and check out our new releases and our catalog. If we don’t own what you are looking for, you can request that we order it.

Here are a few of my favorite CDs from other Minuteman Libraries:

posted by: Todd

Update- August 8th: We just got The Loved Ones – Build and Burn.