John Steinbeck, author of
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Last week marked the birthday of American novelist John Steinbeck; he was born on Feb. 27, 1902. Best known for The Grapes of Wrath, which summed up the bitterness of the downtrodden during the Great Depression, Steinbeck is considered by many to be the most influential of the social novelists.

In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for “his realistic and imaginative writings, combining sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” (Statement from the announcement of his award) In his lifetime, Steinbeck cared deeply about the social situations he wrote so poignantly about. He very much lived his convictions about the land and its people through his novels.

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Speaking of caring, many of you knew Julie Maxson, who was the director of Peninsula Community Library before I took over in 2004. Julie was a special person, loved by all who knew her. She passed away in the fall of last year. Her family has asked me to share the following invitation:

Dear PCL friends,

My family and I are planning a Celebration of Julie’s life and legacy. The event will be at the Hagerty Center on May 18, 1-3 p.m. All our PCL friends are welcome to attend. For more details and to RSVP, please view the invitation on eventbright here.

You may disregard the reference to “tickets.” Tickets are not required; we just want to know how many people to prepare for.

Dave Maxson

(Editor’s Note: Reservations are requested by May 1. To honor Julie, musical selections will be performed by beloved former Interlochen students hosted by Julie and David over the years. Originally from Bolivia, Spain, Turkey and Turkmenistan, these talented professional musicians eagerly and generously agreed to return to Traverse City to pay tribute to Julie. Bring stories, remembrances and photos to share. Dress is casual. Light refreshments will be served. -jb)

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From left, current PCL director Vicki Shurly with former PCL director Julie Maxson; Peninsula Community Library Groundbreaking, Oct. 14, 2018 | Jane Boursaw Photo

Upcoming Activities at PCL

Seeds. Our Seed Library opened on March 1. Take what you need from the old card catalog in the lobby. Collect seeds to bring back this summer and fall. Bring in unused commercial packets, too! This program depends on YOU – our gardening friends. Thanks to Judy Heffron for spearheading this!

Threads of History. An 1892 “Signature Quilt” by the Ladies Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Old Mission is on exhibit in our Community Room. The display runs through March 31 and includes stories and photos from Old Mission history. The Methodist Episcopal Church took over Peter Dougherty‘s original Log Mission building when the mission moved to Omena. The building was later moved from the waterfront on East Bay to where the replica stands now. The quilt is on loan through the courtesy of the Archer/Sargent/VanBrocklin Family. If the door to the Community Room is locked, just ask us to unlock it for you!

Let’s Play BINGO! March is Reading Month for ALL at PCL! Pick up a Reading BINGO card. Read up, down, sideways or diagonally! Turn the card in for a yummy prize. Reading dates are March 1-31. Cards must be in by April 6.

Story Stew for preschoolers happens on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m. Stories, songs, fingerplay, take-home craft bags and more!

Books at the Boathouse. A few tickets are still available for the “Books at the Boathouse” fundraiser on April 22 at 6 p.m. All funds support our library programs and collections. The evening includes wine, appetizer, a multi-course dinner and a live auction with UpNorthLive meteorologist Marc Schollett. Tickets are $125 per person and may be purchased with check or cash at PCL. Hugs to Boathouse owner Doug Kosch and crew! Special entertainment at the start of the evening by PCL’s neighbor, Johnny Keys!

An interesting fact about John Steinbeck: His dog ate the first half of the manuscript for his novel Of Mice and Men. It was the only copy at the time. While Steinbeck was unhappy with his dog Toby at first, he soon forgave him, referring to him as the ultimate critic of literature! So the next time a child claims that the dog ate their homework, I guess it could be true!

Enjoy the beautiful day!

-Vicki Shurly, Director of Peninsula Community Library

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A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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