Our community never ceases to amaze me. The unveiling this past Sunday was another example of the support our Northwest Branch along with city wide support.
We had about 500 children and adults attending the program for unveiling the Ice Age Mural of South Texas and the Columbian mammoth front leg.
We were privileged to have three generations of the Wright family with us to share in their goal of providing bones from their family business that can be used for educational purposes. Mrs. Wright gave much credit to Ronny Thomas, Research Specialist with Texas A&M University-Kingsville for his personal and professional interest in excavating the bones over the past fifteen plus years.
He and Dr. Jon Baskin, Professor at the University have been responsible for maintaining the many types of animal bones found and using them as educational tools at the University and in schools around Texas.
There was an abundance of wows and murmurs of approval from the children and adults when the cover was torn off the mural by Miss Jean and the artist, Dinah Bowman.
By all means, make plans to bring your family and friends to see the realistic painting of animals that walked, flew, swum, creped and crawled throughout our area between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago. Some of the same animals or their kin exist today.
Next came the unveiling of the Columbian Mammoth's left front leg by Owen Hopkins, and Ronny Thomas. As you stand there you fully realize what gigantic creatures walked this area.
Owen Hopkins shared his vision with us over two years while we were still in the enlarging stage of our branch. As a geologist and past president of the Corpus Christi Geologist Society he generated the support of his organization to work toward a mission of putting maps, bones and boulders in as many schools as possible.
The land map that is color coded to show the age of different parts of the United States is now in over 350 schools.
They will be working on raising funds to pay for the laminating and framing of copies of the Ice Age Mural to also go to schools along with a bone of an animal from the same time.
Our program ended with an inspirational talk from Rev. Michael Brundeen, minister at Jackson Woods Presbyterian Church. Earlier in the year they chose to honor John Calvin's 500th birthday with a gift of $500 to be used for educational purposes and picked our library to give it to.
Rev. Brundeen presented the check to us before he spoke.
Their pledge went toward the building of the display case. Thanks go out to his congregation for being such good neighbors. We also appreciate their willingness to allow us to use their parking area when we have big events.
The fortuitous design of the children's room with the 7-foot by 14-foot blank wall and a glass window on one side and emergency glass door on the other side was perfect for a mural. Now when you look at the mural and let your imagination soar you can gaze out the windows toward the North and Nueces River Valley and image these animals as they lived here 13,280 years ago. The date comes from carbon dating of other material found alongside the mammoth bones.
The next event, one of twenty-two being held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the library, will be Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. We will have the 5th Wildlife in Focus photo contest winners' exhibit. With this event we will be able to see all types of animals and nature through great photography taken at farms and ranches in the surrounding counties.
The exhibit will be at our branch for the month of November.
Award ribbons will be given to the youth that have taken nature pictures and entered them in our contest at the reception that afternoon.
We have already started raising funds with a goal of $5,000 under the sponsorship of the Friends of the Corpus Christ Public Libraries for two display cases.
The primary one is for the 9-foot section of the tusk that was part of the same mammoth whose leg we have on display. The other, an upper display case is needed for smaller bones, fossils, rocks, minerals and artifacts that we will be given to us in the future.
If you'd like to make a donation before the end of the year you can make a check out to "The Friends of Corpus Christi Public Libraries," with a notation that is for Northwest Branch and take it as a tax deduction.
Lynda Whitton is the children's librarian for the Northwest Branch Library in Corpus Christi. Readers may contact her at 241-9329.