Historic Library Converting into a Gaming and Comic Shop

All retail stores strive to find the perfect location for their business to grow. This is especially true for gaming and comic shops where the customers come to hangout in a fun environment. Todd Nightenhelser, owner of TCB Games in Huntington, Indiana is taking the challenge to make the ideal gaming and comic destination by moving his shop into a historic building – The Huntington Free Library.

The Huntington Indiana Carnegie Library

The Huntington Indiana Carnegie Library

Located at Warren St. and Park Dr. in downtown Huntington, the library stands where the first permanent hotel in Huntington was built by General John Tipton in 1835, however the original building was destroyed in 1873. In 1901, the School Board of Huntington received an offer from 19th-century industrialist Andrew Carnegie to construct a public library. Between 1886 and 1919, Carnegie’s donations helped create 1,679 libraries, bringing books within reach of millions of Americans. With matching donations from the local community, the Huntington Free Library was built in a neoclassical style and is larger than most Indiana Carnegie libraries.

Huntington originally grew in the 1800′s as a transportation hub as it’s located along the Wabash River. The Wabash and Erie Canal and railroads added to the city’s impact. When transportation methods shifted to trucking, this created a strain on Huntington. TCB Games and other Huntington business are providing creative ideas to help reinvent the beautiful downtown.

To transform the old library into a retail and community space, Todd faces several challenges. First, the building needs to be rezoned for commercial use. Second, the library needs to meet modern American Disabilities Act standards to make the site handicap accessible. This includes adding automatic doors, wheelchair ramps, handicap bathrooms and an elevator. At the same time, Todd is trying to maintain the historical significance of the building and manage the construction costs. Much of the 1903 library is in original condition, including beautiful wood molding, doors and staircases.

Todd Nightenhelser, Owner of TCB Games

Todd Nightenhelser, Owner of TCB Games

The main room features original bookshelves with a second level made with a floor of poured glass panels. Preserving the features of the library as it converts into a retail space is key to Todd’s plans.

For TCB Games to strive is a relatively small town, it has plans to partner with the community to make the new shop flourish in the library. In addition to selling video games, board games, card games and comics, Todd has plans to share the library with other local groups. The Huntington Literacy Coalition will utilize a room to support their goals. Additionally, Todd has spoken with Huntington University and the Boy Scouts about organizing activities at the library.

The reopening of The Free Library as the new TCB Games is scheduled for the fall of 2014. Todd has lots of creative ideas to develop this space into a fun gaming and comic shop. BCW Supplies will post a follow-up article after the grand reopening, but you can stay connected with the progress on the TCB Games Facebook Page or stop by their current location at 515 N. Jefferson St., Huntington, Indiana.

Vinyl: Full Circle

As the Digital Age gains an ever increasing momentum, a segment of audiophiles have chosen to embrace the Analog Era in numbers that find old and young alike, enjoying what was once to be cast aside and left as a footnote for music history.

Digital, at that time, was the superior way to go, offering clean, precise sound that fans had hoped for with the premium virgin vinyl issues and half-speed masters released by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs. The delicate nature of the vinyl medium had its limitations with static, scratches and impure raw vinyl, used to further degrade the sound. To satisfy the demand for clarity and storage concerns, the compact disc filled that need rather well. Compact discs were the cure for the ailments of the Vinyl Era, but they came with a stiffness and sterility of sound. Analog, by comparison, had a warmth and genuine feel that helped to make the music a true experience. And as time continues, collectors still seem to enjoy that charm of the procedure…disc to platter, needle to groove.

A recent visit to a high profile pop culture retailer in the Indianapolis shopping district, found an interesting blend of new vinyl issues of past best-selling titles carried alongside the retro players that help transfer those vinyl issues to CD duplication for convenience. The 60’s and 70’s have come full circle and showcase the fact that there are a fantastic amount of well written songs and melodies from those decades, just waiting to be heard again by a new generation.

Baby boomers have plenty of favorites to choose from during that era and are still wanting to embrace the memories of their youth. New audiophiles are just discovering the authenticity of vinyl recordings, not to mention the spectacular array of album covers and additional art inside the gatefold sleeves.

As the re-introduction to albums continues to grow, the need for storage and preservation has timely merits. BCW has added product lines to aid every discerning collector. They offer jackets, sleeves, toploads and storage boxes for media, 45’s and LP’s, with their cause for business, to… “Protect, Store and Display”.

Jimi Hendrix Stamps

Music Icons US Postal Stamps featuring Jimi Hendrix

Even the US Postal Service recognizes the efforts of past musicians in 2013’s Music Icons series of commemorative stamp issues. The likenesses of Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Lydia Mendoza and most recently new series member Jimi Hendrix, are part of this series. The fifth issuance in this series will be Janis Joplin, scheduled for later this year.

It’s great to see a special day, Record Store Day, reserved for the hobby that has molded pop culture to what it is today and will continue to be as the future unfolds.

An overview by Stephen and Joy Butler

Ham Radio QSL Card Collecting

Collecting Amateur Radio QSL Cards

The QSL card collection and gear of amateur radio operator call sign KCORSX.

Amateur radio operators maintain their own radio stations, authorized by the US Federal Communications Commission and other national organizations. While amateur radio operators use their gear and skills for communications when emergencies arise, amateur radio is mainly a recreational hobby. The amateur radio operators, nicknamed hams, test their skills at contacting other amateur radio operators around the globe using their designated bands throughout the radio spectrum.

For one amateur radio operator to contact another ham requires the right transmitting and receiving radio gear, a skilled operator, the right atmospheric conditions and some good timing. So when two amateur radio operators get in touch for the first time, they often confirm the contact by trading post cards. The cards are referred to as QSL cards, a term generated from the Morse code “Q-signal” for a two-way contact – a “QSL”.

As a goal, some amateur radio operators try to confirm and share QSL cards with distant contacts (DX). Managed by the American Radio Relay League, the DX Century Club is amateur radio’s premier award that hams can earn by confirming on the air contacts with 100 countries. Other goals for confirming radio contact include Worked All States (WAS) and Worked All Continents (WAC).

To help these hobbyists store their QSL cards, BCW Supplies manufactures 3-ring binders and protective pages. BCW post card pages are available as 4-pocket pages (pictured above) and 3-pocket pages for larger cards.

BCW 3-Ring Binders
BCW 4-Pocket Pages (20-ct. Pack), Archival Safe
BCW 4-Pocket Pages (100-ct. Pack), Archival Safe
PRO 3-Pocket Pages (20-ct. Pack), Archival Safe
PRO 3-Pocket Pages (100-ct. Pack), Archival Safe