PIQUA — The Friends of the Piqua Public Library held their first Library Lounge Series program for 2023 on Thursday, Feb. 2, presenting “Teddy and Edith Roosevelt” to a standing room-only crowd at the Piqua Public Library.
Teddy and Edith Roosevelt were portrayed by veteran re-enactors Larry and Julia Marples, who have visited the Friends of the Piqua Public Library Lounge Series as the President and First Lady each year for the last 11 years.
“Our programs are well attended,” Friends of the Piqua Public Library member Doug Stilwell said. “They’re interesting programs. We try to do things that would appeal to a big crowd.“
“We’ve spoken in front of all different sizes of groups,” Marples said. “I’ve done book studies with five people, and at one program down in Arizona there were 6,000 people in the area where I was speaking.”
An elementary school teacher in Springfield, Marples started portraying Theodore Roosevelt about 15 years ago, after getting the idea from a student.
“We’ve always loved history, so that led us on the path to this,” he said. “One day 15 years ago, one of my third-graders looked at me and said, “you look like Theodore Roosevelt.”
During the program, Marples and his wife shared stories about Teddy Roosevelt’s life, and life in America during his administration from 1901-1909. The real Teddy Roosevelt actually visited the Fort Piqua Hotel once during a campaign stop in 1912, Marples said.
The program also featured music from the period by Jason Townsend, Worship Pastor and Director of the Praise Team at St. Paul’s Church.
This year’s theme for the Friends of the Piqua Public Library Lounge Series is “Back by Popular Demand.” The series will revisit some of the most requested programs from the past, including The Dianne Coble Ensemble and beer and wine tastings.