N.C. State Seal D

Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
State Library of North Carolina
Library Services Section
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Tar Heel Talk
Fall/Winter 2016
Number 150

Confessions of a Guide Dog: The Blonde Leading the Blind

Karen Broderick, Patron

Mark Carlson, owner of guide dog Musket, has written a very good memoir about his blindness and about working with Musket. He describes what a guide dog does, how they lead a blind owner, and even how they understand traffic lights. Guide dogs are smart, loyal and well-trained, but each dog has its own personality. Musket is proof of this. In this book, Musket also has his say.

Mark is a blind writer, historian, and docent at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. He and his father and brother are all blind due to Usher's Syndrome, a hereditary eye disease.

The writing style is straightforward and matter-of-fact, making it an easy book to follow. My only "confession" would be that I thought the book would be more from the dog's point of view. However, Musket DOES have his say, and makes smart remarks throughout the book—especially if it had anything to do with food.

The book opens before Mr. Carlson receives his guide dog, with some discussion of what it means to be blind. The author is able to see shapes, and movements, but not much more. He doesn't really care what label is applied to him; blindness is just a part of who he is. To Mark, the most important sense is a sense of humor.

The book touches upon many issues related to blindness, and disability, aside from the narrative regarding the dog. Some of these include travel, advocacy, assistive technology, the need for respect instead of pity, and general attitudes towards people with disabilities.

Some specific issues related to guide dogs included travel, traffic, treats (which Musket sought all the time), guide dog etiquette, and issues surrounding the inevitable time when the dog would be too old to work. There were ample examples regarding the issue that service animals are allowed anywhere. Throughout the book, the author uses humor, and comments from Musket to make the book more readable and enjoyable. It was readily apparent that Musket opened the world up for the author, as he was able to do things that he would otherwise not have been able to do. All in all, I would recommend this book as a good read, especially for those who have had no contact with service animals, or for those who might be considering one.

Tar Heel Talk is a quarterly publication of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library Services Section, State Library of North Carolina, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, State of North Carolina.

Governor..........Pat McCrory
Secretary..........Susan W. Kluttz
State Librarian/Director..........Cal Sheppard
Regional Librarian..........Carl Keehn

Editor..........Gina Powell
Editorial Staff:
Margaret Evans

1841 Capital Boulevard
Raleigh, NC 27635

Voice..........(919) 733-4376
Fax..........(919) 733-6910
TDD..........(919) 733-1462
Toll Free..........1-888-388-2460

World Wide Web Home Page:
Internet Catalog and Ordering Site:

Friends' Corner

Friends of the NC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
President's Letter
by Eddie Weaver

Hello Friends,

I would like to first welcome the new Board members who joined us as of July: Donnie Best, George Chester, Susan King, and Jill McMillan. We are very excited to have these folks join us and look forward to working with them in providing excellent services to the blindness community. All of these new members have worked in the blindness field in various capacities over the years. Below you will find a complete listing of all of the board members.

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we were in the process of updating the Friends website. This work has now been completed, and I hope you will take a look at the changes. This website is packed full of information about the Friends organization. For example, you can learn about our history, outreach activities, how to renew your membership, and how to donate to support the Library and its services. Check it out at www.friendsnclbph.org.

Are you aware that the first Sunday in August is recognized as Friendship Day? This day of recognition was proclaimed by Congress in 1935 to honor the beautiful relationships we have with others. Other countries recognized the value of friends and have proclaimed this day as Friendship Day as well. I read not long ago in an article about friendship that Dr. Oz identifies our friends as Vitamin F. In the same article, I learned that people who have strong Vitamin F have less risk of depression and terminal strokes. Also, having strong friendships can make you feel up to 30 years younger than your real age! So, we should value all of our friends and keep in touch with them. I hope you will stay in touch with us, and I am blessed to have all of you as part of my Vitamin F.

Remember that the Friends of the Library operates on memberships and generous donations from our friends. If you have questions about donating to the Friends, please let me know. You will be receiving renewal notices soon for membership, and I ask that you return your renewal when you receive it. For those who are not yet members of the Friends, I hope you will complete the attached application or join us online from our website and become part of our Vitamin F.

Board of Directors

Eddie Weaver
H (919) 900-8780

Kathy Brack
H (919) 847-7268
C (919) 280-1980

Debbie Jackson Meadows
C (919) 219-2677
W (919) 715-8805

Mary Flanagan
H (919) 782-8621
C (919) 602-1334

James Benton
H (919) 833-0007
W (919) 715-0172

Myra DeBruhl
H (919) 875-8803
C (919) 621-9393

Kevin Tillery
C (252) 883-5088
H (336) 727-3119

George Chester
H (919) 365-4965
C (919) 240-9960

Miriam Dixon
H (919) 755-1567
C (919) 602-8715

Sean Lew
H (336) 413-9255

Ed Summers

Donnie Best
C (910) 340-7210

Sharon Benton
H (919) 833-0007

Jim Pappalardo
W (919) 847-6800

Susan King
W (828) 478-2135 x229

Jill McMillan
H (919) 618-9444

Carl R. Keehn
Regional Librarian - NCLBPH

JOIN TODAY - Friends of the NCLBPH

Go to the "Join" link at www.friendsnclbph.org to pay by credit card.
To join by mail, fill out the Membership Blank:

Name ____________________________________

Address _________________________________________

City: ____________________ State: ____________ Zip: ____________

Phone, with Area Code: ___________________________________

Do you receive materials from NCLBPH?  Yes _____ No _____

Please send information about donating to the FNCLBPH.  ___

___ Individual $10              ___ Hundred Dollar Club $100
___ Family $15                        ___ Plus Club $300
___ Organization/Professional $50              ___ Other $_______
___ Life Membership $500

Contributions in excess of these amounts are accepted and appreciated.

Make checks payable to FNCLBPH. Mail this form, with your check, to:
1841 Capital Boulevard
Raleigh, NC 27635
Go to www.friendsnclbph.org to pay by credit card.

Patrons Making Music

Recently, we sat down with patrons and volunteers John and Sandy Deluca and discussed their musical talents. They not only sing but also play instruments. John has even written a song about blindness. The following is our conversation with the Delucas.

What instruments do you play?

John and Sandy: Both of us took several years of piano lessons while we were in school. Regrettably, neither of us have devoted much time to the piano as adults.

Sandy: Over the years, I have played the autoharp some and have dabbled with the hammer dulcimer. Now my focus is the mandolin.

John: I play the guitar. With limited musical talent, I have chosen so far to be mediocre at one instrument rather than at several.

How long have you been playing?

Sandy: After getting a mandolin as a Christmas gift in 2013, I started taking mandolin lessons in the winter of 2014 at Harry's Guitar Shop in Raleigh.

John: I received a guitar for Christmas when I was a child but did nothing with it for years. When I was at the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Butner during the summer of 1972, I met a guy named Robert Carter who was a very good guitarist. He showed me some chords and taught me a few songs. Since then, I have had a few lessons and played some sporadically. However, I didn't start playing regularly until after my retirement from State government in late 2010.

When did you start playing together?

John: We started playing together right after Sandy started taking mandolin lessons. Prior to that time, we collaborated on a few occasions, with Sandy doing some singing.

When did you start playing for audiences?

John: Our breakout performance came in July, 2014, when we played for the folks at Sandy's birthday party. We had fed the group well, so it was a very tolerant crowd.

What is your favorite type of music to play?

Sandy: We enjoy playing a wide range of genres, including bluegrass, country, beach and gospel. To us, what is most important is that we think the song is good, over and above what style or genre it might come from. Beyond that, most songs can be adapted to more than one style.

What is your favorite song to play?

Sandy: We couldn't limit it to just one. A sampling would include the following: "Singing as We Rise"; "My Girl"; "The Bramble and the Rose"; "Wagon Wheel"; and "Stand by Me".

John, how did you come to write, "When You're a Blind Man?"

John: I almost never sit down with an intent to write a song. Although it doesn't happen often, on occasion, an idea or phrase comes to me, and words follow it. With this song, all nine verses come from our experiences and reflect stereotypes that we and most blind or visually impaired people have experienced. We could have added more verses, but I thought nine was quite enough to make the point.

Sandy, how long have you been singing with choirs and what are some of the choirs you have sung with?

Sandy: I began singing in school choruses and church choirs when I was a child, and I have continued doing that with very few breaks from then until now. For many years, I sang with the White Memorial Presbyterian Church choir, and I am now singing with the Saint Michael's Episcopal Church choir.


A song by John Deluca

When you're a blind man,
Some people think that you can't hear,
That they have to speak loud and clear,
So that maybe you'll understand
Though they're really not sure you can,
Cause you're a blind man.

But when you're a blind man,
Other people think you hear quite well,
And that you have a strong sense of smell,
O I wish these things were true,
But I hear and smell a lot like you,
Ordinary blind man.

And when you're a blind man,
Some waiters think that you can't speak,
They ask your wife what you want to eat.
I Wonder how they think she knows.
ESP I suppose,
A mystery to a blind man.

And when you're a blind man,
Some clerks think that you can drive.
They want your license to identify.
Then they ask where you are parked.
Now who is really in the dark,
The clerk or the blind man?

And when you're a blind man,
And you're looking for an empty chair,
Someone will point and say "It's over there!"
And you stand there wondering where.
Sometimes it makes you want to swear.
Cranky old blind man.

And when you're a blind man,
People want to help you cross the street.
They grab your arm and nearly sweep you off your feet,
And you end up on the wrong side of the road.
A good Samaritan won't always ease your load.
Poor lost blind man.

And when you're a blind man,
Folks think you can play anything,
That you could make these guitar strings ring,
And that you should sing like a real song bird.
It's clear they've never heard
The singing of this blind man.

And when you're a blind man,
And you go to a bluegrass show
Some lady that you don't know
Will whisper, "last night you were grand,"
Cause she thinks that you're Michael Cleveland,
But you're just a blind fan.

And when you're a blind man,
People will say that you're amazin',
Cause you know that five and five make ten,
And you got your shoes on the right feet.
I reckon they're just bein' sweet,
Sweet to the blind man.
Be sweet to the blind man.

Meet the Staff

Meet Mike Shaw, our newest Circulation Assistant. He's one of the people responsible for getting your books to you. Mike works on the shipping and receiving of audio books, braille and large type books. With over 2000 items mailed and received each day, Mike and the Circulation staff stay very busy.

Mike is a native of Greensboro, where he worked as a Peer to Peer Assistant Teacher in an Exceptional Children's classroom. When he moved to the Raleigh area, Mike came to work for the NC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. When asked why he works now at the library Mike says "the library chose me, and I'm glad it did."

Mike enjoys spending time with family and riding motorcycles. He also coaches football in his spare time.

Mike enjoys reading historical books, and his favorite book is The Outsiders. This book is a suspense novel about a couple who find their vacation ruined when MI5 uses their villa to spy on a crime boss next door. Officer Winnie Monks has the opportunity to capture the criminal who murdered a young agent on her team. The library carries this book in both braille and digital formats.

If Mike could have only one movie to take to a desert island, he would choose Pulp Fiction. If chosen to sing a song on American Idol, Mike would sing Imagine by John Lennon.

Tips for Better Service

Please be sure to return cartridges in the container that matches the book or magazine. This helps speed up the check-in process and ensures that others can get the right book as quickly as possible.

If you receive large print or audio magazines, please return them to the library when you are finished reading them. Other patrons are waiting to read them too!

Please remember if there is a problem with a cartridge or if the cartridge is missing, put a note in the case or a rubber band around the damaged cartridge. Please do not write on the cartridge, case or any labels on these items.

Call the library's toll-free number, 1-888-388-2460 if you:


Our Descriptive Video Service (DVS) is made possible by the State Library of North Carolina and the Friends of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. DVS movies have a voice describing actions, characteristics, and dress of the actors as well as details of the scenery or setting. This descriptive voice speaks during the time when there is no dialogue. These videos and movie discs can be enjoyed by everyone, both sighted and visually impaired. Our videos and movie discs play on ordinary VCRs, DVD players, and televisions. The library does not loan or repair video equipment.

Currently, we have over 800 videos in our collection, including older and contemporary titles, as well as titles for children.

You must be an active library patron to join the DVS club. There is a onetime membership fee of $20; however, if you lose or damage a movie, you will need to join again by paying another $20. All movies go through the mail Free Matter for the Blind. Individuals may borrow one movie at a time; institutions may borrow up to three. The loan period is three weeks.

When we receive your membership form and fee, we will send you a catalog of DVS titles, which you may use to order movies. The library staff doesn't make movie selections for you; it is your responsibility to ensure that the library has a list of requests. You may send your requests by mail, or phone in up to 12 at a time on our toll-free line at 1-888-388-2460. You may send as many requests as you like, but we can't send the movies in any particular order or guarantee a specific time when they will be sent. Please order your movies by catalog number. As we receive a returned movie in the mail, we will send another. Please remember that we only send another movie if you have requests on file, and if your requests are available. As new titles are added to the collection, they will be listed in the library's newsletter, Tar Heel Talk. We update the catalog every two years. If you have questions about the DVS program, call us at 1-888-388-2460. If you would like to subscribe to the program, complete the following form.

Descriptive Video Membership Form

Join Today! Complete the form, make your first DVS selections from the list below, and mail to our address on the back of this form.

Name ____________________________________

Address _________________________________________

Phone Number ___________________________________

Return this form with a check for $20, made payable to FNCLBPH

Please send my catalog in the following format:

_____ Large Print _____ Braille

Descriptive Video Order Form

Listed below are recently added Movie Disc titles. To order, check the space beside your selection(s). If you already are a DVS member and don't need to include a check, remove this page and add your information. Fold in half so NCLBPH's address shows, tape it, and mail to us. No postage required.

Name ____________________________________

Address _________________________________________

Phone Number ___________________________________

 X    DV #              Title

___  MD001443    Everest

___  MD001444    Love the Coopers

___  MD001445    The Peanuts Movie

___  MD001446    The Revenant

___  MD001447    Black Mask

___  MD001448    Point Break

___  MD001449    The Martian

___  MD001450    Legend

___  MD001451    Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

___  MD001452    Truth

Mail information to:
Descriptive Video Service

Library Closing Dates

Veteran's Day - Friday, November 11, 2016

Thanksgiving - Thursday - Friday, November 24-25, 2016

Christmas - Friday, December 23, 2016 and Monday - Tuesday, December 26-27, 2016

New Year's Day - Monday, January 2, 2017

Come Get Something Noble Today!

NOBLE (North Carolina BARD Local) is a service similar to BARD but for locally produced digital braille, talking books and magazines available for download. All digital talking books available from NOBLE are produced in an alternate format that can only be read on an NLS approved player. Just like BARD, downloaded audio files are zipped and need to be unzipped onto a flash drive to play.

The following locally produced Digital Books are available for download:

Scoundrels, Rogues and Heroes of the Old North State - DBC06101

A collection of stories originally written by lauded North Carolina historian Dr. H.G. Jones for his long-standing "In Light of History" series. At times informative, at times moving and on occasion side-splittingly hilarious, the tales in this book span four hundred years of North Carolina history. Across the golden age of pirates, the colonial period and the American-Revolution, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Prohibition and every era in between, these stories of characters from the high seas, the coast, down east, the mountains, the piedmont and the sandhills cover every part of the Tar Heel State. By H.G. Jones. Reading Time - 5 hours, 58 minutes
Download Scoundrels, Rogues and Heroes of the Old North State, DBC0610

Victims: a True Story of the Civil War - DBX00998

This is the story of the Madison County Massacre. In 1863 Confederate officials rounded up and shot a number of civilians in this North Carolina mountain county. It is an encounter with man's capacity to commit atrocity, with the power of war to shake a community, with the enduring ability of ordinary people to overcome the battering forces of history. By Phillip Shaw Paludan. Reading Time - 6 hours 15 minutes.
Download Victims, DBX00998

Go Directly to the Catalog:

Library Patrons Please Note: This newsletter is available in Braille and on digital cartridge. If you would like to receive this publication in braille or digital cartridge, call us toll-free at 1-888-388-2460.

A total of 11,500 copies of this publication were printed at a cost not exceeding $1700 or approximately $0.14 per copy. Funding for the issue is being provided by the Friends of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Please note any change of address by calling 1-888-388-2460 or mailing to the library at:


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