Friday, November 7, 2008

Hidden Gems: Behind the Wheel

Today we’re launching a new SpartaBlog! column called “Hidden Gems,” which will feature interesting items in the NCC Libraries’ collection that most people never notice. Every library owns odds and ends – materials that are quirky, unusual, funny, even weird – that you might not find unless you know where to look. Think of “Hidden Gems” as your treasure map!

What better way to follow a treasure map than a good, old-fashioned road trip? Your “Hidden Gems” for today are all about cars. Back before airbags, when cars were made of steel and gas was cheap, families would hop in the car for a Sunday afternoon drive – just for fun, not because they needed to go anywhere. A perfect place for that casual drive in autumn was the Pocono Mountains, with their gorgeous array of fall foliage, so let’s start our road trip there.

Better in the Poconos: The Story of Pennsylvania's Vacationland
by Lawrence Squeri
F 157 .M6 S68 2002 Stacks, Main and Monroe

While you’re traveling, how about a good laugh? Pop in these CDs and listen to the hilarious Tom and Ray Magliozzi (a.k.a. “Click & Clack”) dispense car repair advice to fans of their weekly program on National Public Radio.

Car Talk Classics
broadcast on NPR (National Public Radio)
TL 151 .M216 2007 [Sound recording] Media Tower

If the Car Talk guys can’t fix your old heap, give it one last hurrah before the junkyard: run it in the demolition derby. Graduates of Stroudsburg High School or the Pocono Mountain School District may remember local author Bill Lowenburg, a history teacher and librarian, who took the gritty, black-and-white photos of this car-smashing sport.

Crash, Burn, Love: Demolition Derby
by Bill Lowenburg
GV 1029.9 .D45 L6 2005 Stacks

After your car is safely parked, take a trip down memory lane: a nostalgic look at old driver’s education films. Most were corny, some were hokey, a few were even quite gory (presumably to scare new drivers into adopting safe habits). These little film clips, with titles like "Wheels of Tragedy," "Mechanized Death" and "Highways of Agony," will really transport you back!

Hell's Highway: The True Story of Highway Safety Films
produced by Kino International
TL 152.3 .H44 2003 [DVD] Media Tower

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