Mary Jane Santos: For one last time, I’m glad you asked


Well, folks, here it is: My last column for the Delaware Gazette.

I began writing “Glad You Asked” in 1988, and with the exception of one week, I have had a column published weekly for the last 27 years.

In that time, the Delaware County District Library, The Gazette and our community have undergone some huge changes, and it’s been a remarkable privilege to watch, experience and participate in the evolution.

After 31 years at the library, I am handing the leadership role to incoming director George Needham, and I look forward to enjoying the next chapter in my life.

The library will continue to contribute to The Gazette, under the quite capable hands of communications manager Nicole Fowles. The question-and-answer format will remain the same, too — so if you have a question, email it to [email protected].

I want to cordially invite you to my retirement open house on Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 3 to 7 p.m., too. I intend to stay busy and involved, and I will no doubt see many of you out and about in our community, but if you have time, stop by the party to share a library memory and a hug on Sept. 30.

Thank you for all of your support throughout the last three of decades. I have truly been “glad you asked!”

Please also plan to attend the Friends of the Library’s book fair at the main library on Oct. 2 and 3. The Oct. 2 event is for Friends members only and begins at 6 p.m. You can become a member of the Friends that evening and have first pick of the selection.

The bargain book fair is open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This auxiliary organization is a tremendous support for the library, both monetarily and with their advocacy in the community. Your donation for some great gently used books and DVDs to share with your family helps them to help the library. Thank you in advance!

And now here is my last set of questions from readers:

What is zaftig?

Originating from a Yiddish word meaning juicy or succulent, zaftig has come to mean slightly fat in an attractive way, or having a full, rounded figure, especially when referring to a woman. The Merriman Webster Dictionary notes the first known use of the word was around 1936.

Where was M. Night Shyamalan born and what does the “M” stand for?

Born in India but raised in the suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is the son of two doctors. His birth name is Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan (he made up his middle name, “Night” when he was in college). Shymalan lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and he frequently uses that city as the backdrop in his movies. Shyamalan likes to make cameo appearances in his own movies, like Alfred Hitchcock, one of his favorite directors. I checked in the IMDB web site ( for this biographical information.

What is “Mythbuster” Jamie’s background?

Jamie Hyneman is a multifaceted man who has been a wilderness survival expert, boat captain, diver, linguist, animal wrangler, machinist and cook. Jamie earned a degree in Russian languages and ran a sailing/diving charter business in the Caribbean for several years before he moved to the visual-effects industry. After working for several special-effects companies, Jamie went to Colossal Pictures’ model shop, where he managed the production of models and special effects for hundreds of commercials and movies. Jamie then created M5 Industries Inc., home to “MythBusters.” He has produced a steady flow of innovative products at M5 Industries, and he holds two honorary doctorates and several patents in areas ranging from electro mechanical products to solar energy collection and ultra-efficient armor. Jamie met fellow mythbuster Adam Savage in 1993 when Adam was building props for stage productions in the San Francisco Bay area. Jamie hired Adam to work with him as a model maker, and they went on to collaborate on more than 100 commercials. Years later, when Jamie was approached to host “MythBusters,” he reached out to Adam to join him, feeling that between his experience and Adam’s liveliness, they would make a good team. Jamie lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and their two dogs. Check Current Biography for more information.

Mary Jane Santos

Glad You Asked

Mary Jane Santos is retiring as director of the Delaware County District Library. If you have a question that you would like to see answered in a future column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s website at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked.

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