lover's leap, omp, peninsula community library
Lover's Leap on the OMP, Circa 1924
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“Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge, and that is vitally important for us. We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded that we are vulnerable. We must be treated as equals, and communication is the way we can bring this about.” – Louis Braille

Louis Braille was born 208 years ago on January 4 in the small French town of Coupvray, about 20 miles outside of Paris. Louis was blinded in an accident when he was three years old. The small child was playing in his father’s shop trying to make holes in a piece of leather with an awl when the awl slipped and struck him in the eye. The doctor was unable to save it. An infection developed in the other eye soon afterward and he lost all sight.

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Young Louis did not realize at first that he was blind, asking frequently why the world was always dark. Unusual for the era, his parents did their best to treat their child in a normal fashion and he thrived intellectually in their care, attending one of the first schools in the world for blind children, located in Paris. The school used a very cumbersome method of teaching students to read Latin through raised letters. Writing through the method was impossible. Braille was determined to develop a system to bridge the gap between the blind and the sighted. His system of raised dots, now known by his name, was born.

Communication, access to knowledge and treating all people as valuable members of our family is what we are about here at Peninsula Community Library. We offer materials in print, audio, and, through the Talking Book Library at the Traverse Area District Library, materials for the visually and physically impaired. Items recorded digitally as well those printed in Braille are available. Contact us if you know of someone who can use these services. We will put you in touch with one of their wonderful librarians in the know!


Erin Simon, of the Old Mission business Clutter Funk, shares her knowledge with us Monday, January 9 at 7 p.m. Erin’s company organizes, stages and designs for clients in TC. Life can be messy. Come get ideas from Erin on how to organize your space and keep that New Year’s resolution to tidy up!

Light Up the Winter Night! Adults are invited to enter a raffle ticket for each book they have read from January 1 – March 19 for a chance to win one of two certificates for dinner and a movie for two. Pick up a packet of hot chocolate and a flashlight to kick off the event! Look for the display at PCL!

Some interest has been expressed in offering Threads once again for those who do fabric and yarn arts such as knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, needlepoint, etc. The idea is to get together for a pleasant hour or so with others, working on your own project amidst the camaraderie. I have been told that a morning with coffee and conversation and busy hands would be just thing for those winter blues. If you are interested, please let me know and I will see what I can set up!


We still do not know the “whereabouts” of Lover’s Leap somewhere in time  on Old Mission Peninsula. A photograph donated to the library by patron Helen Vogel, shows a picture of East Bay as taken from a bluff. The inscription on the back says, “Lover’s Leap, Old Mission overlooking East Bay. Aug. 13 – ’24.” Chris Baldyga of 2 Lads Winery has donated a bottle of wine for the one person who can tell me the location. Email me if you are in the know! I have set a January 31st deadline on this. See photo at the top of this post.


I want to thank all of you who donated money over the past two and a half weeks to kick off our Building Fund campaign. In all, 117 donations were made for a total amount of $108,383.38, an amazing start over less than three weeks!


Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of Alan Gray, Rick George and Mercedes Kimling who passed away over the past few weeks. Alan, Rick and Mercedes were beloved members of our Old Mission family and leave behind a legacy of community involvement. They will be missed. Please know that they will always be a part of PCL through the gifts that were made to the library’s building fund in their memory.

As we enter the new year, the PCL Board of Trustees has exciting plans for both fundraising and the details of building a new library on the corner of Island View and Center Roads. Stay tuned!

Over the years, many people have benefited from Louis Braille’s system. Braille opened doors for people like Helen Keller, author Aldous Huxley and musicians Andrea Bocelli, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. Louis himself loved music and published a book on methods for using his system for music. Ray Charles said, “Learning to read music in Braille and play by ear helped me develop a damn good memory.” Stevie Wonder quipped simply, “Of course I read Braille. Yes!”

“There is a wonder in reading Braille that the sighted will never know: to touch words and have them touch you back.” – Jim Fiebig

Words touch all of us in some way or another. Come find the power of words for yourself at Peninsula Community Library!

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


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