Peninsula Community Library hosts reception for major donors on the Old Mission Peninsula
Front porch of the new Peninsula Community Library | Jane Boursaw Photo
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This week marks the birthday of the mother of the Civil Rights movement. Born 107 years ago in Tuskegee, Alabama, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks grew up on a farm with her maternal grandparents, mother and brother just outside Montgomery, the state capital. Sickly as a small child, she attended rural schools but had to drop out to care for her mother and grandmother.

In 1932, Rosa married Raymond Parks, a Montgomery barber who encouraged her to finish high school, which she did. At the time, less than 7 percent of African Americans held a high school diploma. Early in their marriage, the Parks became active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

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In 1946, Rosa worked for a brief period at Maxwell Airforce Base. As a federal property, segregation was not allowed within its gates, despite being located in Montgomery. Rosa was able to ride integrated mass transit at Maxwell. She worked as a housekeeper for a white couple who became her friends. They supported her in pursuing an education in justice and equality. She would later credit Maxwell for opening her eyes.

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and we have many books and movies, both educational and fictional, that will walk you through the history of civil rights. Some of my favorites are:

  • Hidden Figures (book by Margot Lee Shetterly and movie)
  • Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom (movie)
  • Henry’s Freedom Box (children’s book on the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine)
  • X (young adult fiction book on Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz)
  • The Help (book by Kathryn Stockett and movie)
  • Selma (movie)
  • Red Tails (movie about the Tuskegee Airman)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (book by Rebecca Skloot and movie)
  • The Underground Railroad (book by Colson Whitehead)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (book by Maya Angelou)
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges (children’s book by Robert Coles)

There are, of course, many more. Come check us out!

Books at the Boathouse Fundraiser

Books at the Boathouse, our annual dressup fundraiser, will happen at The Boathouse Restaurant on March 3, 2020, 6-8 p.m. There will not be a live or silent auction this year at the event. After the successful fundraising we did with your enormous help for the new library, we all need a little break! However, we hope you come out and enjoy a fabulous dinner of wine, appetizers, dinner and dessert.

Our guest speaker is Amy Reynolds, who owns Horizon Books with her husband Vic Herman. Amy will talk about the Traverse City legacy of the independent bookstore. With the announcement of Horizon’s closing this year, it is sure to be a special program. Tickets are available NOW at the library for $100 per person, cash or check only. They will not be available at the door. All funds go to operating our lovely new library! See photos of last year’s Books at the Boathouse here.

Mah Jongg, Chess, Knights, Bingo & Paleontology

A few new “regulars” are happening at PCL! Sociable games of Mah Jongg are offered on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from 1-4 p.m. You must register by calling the library, (231) 223-7700, by 2 p.m. on the Tuesday before the date you wish to play. You must bring your own Mah Jongg card – no reproductions are allowed due to copyright laws. And you MUST know how to play.

Chess meets Monday nights at 6 p.m. by the fireplace. Bring a chess set and enjoy. Our new Men’s Group invites all men on February 13 from 6:30-8 p.m. OMP resident Todd Wilson will be the speaker. The group meets regularly on the second Thursday of the month.

We are summoning all “Knights of the Reading Table” to gather at PCL this Saturday at 11 a.m. to help Sir Walter Lee construct an ice castle, hear a reading from the classic tale The Reluctant Dragon, and enjoy a slice of royal cake. Anyone out there who has read 100 books is invited to be knighted! Email me, vshurly@tadl.org, to let me know! A free book is the reward!

Sonja Neal’s class from Old Mission Peninsula School will be on hand at PCL February 21, 1-3 p.m. They invite you to meet the paleontologists of OMPS – get your questions answered, hear their narratives and discuss the mysteries of the past! The public is invited, so be sure to come and support our partner in education!

Our BINGO for BOOKS queens Mary and Cathy are planning a Mardi Gras evening February 24 at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy treats and a glass of wine while you play! Call (231) 223-7700 to let us know you are coming.

Story Stew for kids is offered the first and third Fridays at 10 a.m. The third Friday offers free books courtesy of Born to Read and Twilight Rotary. Three- to five-year-olds are invited to Just Bee Yoga on the second Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Call to reserve a spot.

Our Reading Therapy Dogs listen to kids read on the first and third Mondays, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Bring your project to THREADS at PCL Mondays at 10 a.m. and work among friends! Chapter Chicks Mother Daughter Book Club meets Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. Pageturners meets on the third Thursday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Books for our book clubs are available on a first come basis.

Gentle Yoga is offered for a small fee on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. PCL and Munson Healthcare Hospice invite you on the first and third Tuesdays at 2 p.m to join our grief support group in a friendly environment where grief and loss are understood. Our French Language Group calls all language Francophiles, fluent and beginning, to meet the third Saturday at 11 a.m. to converse in a friendly and social environment. Tuesdays with Tim and Guests continues on the last Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m. with talks on local history.

Refusing to Give Up Her Seat

In 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus and paid her fare. It had been a long day at work and she settled into the “colored” section of the bus. As the bus filled up, she and several other African Americans were told to give up their seats . The others got up and moved. Rosa refused. She said later, “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

Today, that restored bus sits in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. My family and I sat in it once. There was a small group of older African American women sitting close by. To my surprise, one of them turned to me and asked what I would do if she was told to move to the back of the bus at that moment. I told her that I would sit with her wherever SHE was. And she thanked me. At that moment in time, we were both safe, secure. However, you can’t sit in that bus today and not feel the quiet determination of a small woman who became internationally known as a symbol for human rights.

We Need Your Support!

Old Mission Gazette is a reader-supported newspaper, and we need your ongoing support to keep delivering OMP news, history, photos, events and more. Owners Tim and Jane Boursaw are devoted to the Old Mission Peninsula community, and every contribution, big or small, is valuable. Click HERE to support Old Mission Gazette. Thank you!


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