Brian Jennings's blog
We've worked hard this past year collecting stories from residents around Rockland County as part of the Share Listen Learn: Stories of Rockland County oral history program. Many of the stories we've collected can be heard on our Soundcloud page http://souncloud.com/rocklandroom - now you can take a piece of history home by purchasing a CD for $10 that features 26 short stories from your neighbors.
We believe that people and their stories are important. That's why we have conducted over 50 interviews in the past year with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers and staff and produced several Listening programs this Fall. There are still two more listening events this year. Next Monday November 30th at 7PM "Rockland Stories" will feature stories from people all around Rockland County that help us to understand what makes this place special. The last event of the year on December 7th at 2pm, "Rockland County and World War II" will feature the stories of its residents who served in the armed forces and those who remember what it was like on the homefront. Try interviewing your loved ones during the Great Thanksgiving Listen organized by StoryCorps. You can preview some of the Rockland Stories at the link below.
The Library will be open this Wednesday on Veterans Day and that evening at 7:30PM we will be hosting a special event featuring the stories of your neighbors who served our Country in the Armed Forces. There will be stories from men and women who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marines. Stories will be from service in World War II, Vietnam, and the first Iraq War. A number of video interviews produced by Clarkstown North's David Kaminski and filmed at the Rockland Independent Living Center will be shown as well. Please be advised, some of these stories are graphic in nature. We thank all the Veterans for their service and for sharing their stories.
Back in June I had the pleasure of interviewing Fred Bohlander of Stony Point. He came down to the library and told javpageme stories for over two hours of his volunteer work as a member of the Wayne Hose Company, his father and the milk delivery business, how he met his wife, and many more memories of life in Rockland County. When I heard on WRCR this week that he had passed, I was sad that such a genuine guy and a great community leader was gone. But I was glad that he had shared his story with us and that his family, friends, and the community would have these stories to keep as a reminder of him. Although Fred lived much of his life in Stony Point, he fondly recalled his days as a young boy in New City where he learned all about farming from his neighbors the Smiths. You can listen to a part of this on our Soundcloud and at the link below. Thank you Fred, you can rest in peace having lived a good life.
A newspaper editor, a camp counselor, a teacher, a farmer's wife, an electrician, a firefighter, a primitive artist and a retired ad-man walk into a library. This isn't the start to a bad joke, the stories of residents of Rockland County working in these jobs and others will take the stage as we begin a series called Share, Listen, Learn that features clips from our oral history collection on Tuesday September 8th at 7PM. Celebrate Labor Day by listening to stories from your neighbors working a number of unique Rockland jobs.
There are many interesting programs related to Local History at the New City Library in April. James Cassetta will be discussing his new book on Pearl River on Tuesday April 14th at 7PM. Larry Kigler will show us 125 years of Rockland County history with the help of extensive postcard collection on Tuesday April 28th at 7PM in an illustrated lecture. Learn more about these programs and other activities related to local history in the latest edition of our local history newsletter. Sign up for regular emails related to local history collections and programs here: https://madmimi.com/signups/122327/join.
The February 2015 Local History Newsletter is now online. Click on the image to read about what's happening in local history at the New City Library. Sign up for the local history email newsletter here: https://madmimi.com/signups/122327/join
Jerry Donnellan tells a story about growing up on the Hudson River in Nyack and playing on the icy river. We will be holding a Listening program later this Spring where we will play this clip and others from residents who talk about growing up in Rockland County. If you are interested in being interviewed or becoming a volunteer interviewer, call local history librarian Brian Jennings at 845-634-4997 ext. 127 or email him at [email protected]
We have a new local history email list to keep you apprised of new programming and resources related to local history. We just released our first issue which you can read online here. The highlights of this month’s newsletter are a lecture in January 27th about the Civil War in Rockland County, a new display on the lost hamlet of Sandyfield curated by members of the Historical Society of the Palisades Interstate Park Region and the announcement that an Outreach grant from the Ramapo Catskill Library System will help us continue collecting oral history interviews and create programs from these audio interviews. Sign up for the local history email list here:
It's Veterans Day and the New City Library is open regular hours. While you enjoy the day, listen to the Rockland County Director of Veterans Affairs Jerry Donnellan's oral history interview on HRVH or the short story below from that interview.