Archive for June 2012
Greenbelt Voices is Greenbelt-based Transitions Theater’s first production. It comprises of more than 20 dramatic monologues telling the stories of Greenbelt residents. The show debuted at the Greenbelt Arts Center in July 2010, and this year, to celebrate Greenbelt’s 75th anniversary, the director of the show Misha R’kingsley selected nine monologues and they were performed at the New Deal Café on Sunday June 24.
Director Misha R’kingsley introduces Greenbelt Voices. She says that the show premiered in July 2010 and before that she spent a year interviewing people and collecting stories. She says that she moved to Greenbelt in 2002 and wanted to know “what made this town tick.” “I wanted to hear everything, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, and everything in between.” She interviewed more than 20 people and some also sent her stories by email. The monologues are performed by a group of actors including a few original storytellers.
Pastor Dan Hamlin has led the Greenbelt Community Church for 28 years. He is retiring this year. On Sunday June 17, he gave his last sermon at the Community Church, and a week later, on June 24, the church held a special tribute service in honor of him.
Shortly after new residents moved into Greenbelt in 1937, interdenominational Protestant services were held in the Center School. This Greenbelt Community Church building at Hillside and Crescent Roads was dedicated in 1951, and the church is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.
On June 8, Greenbelt Elementary School celebrated the achievements of its sixth graders. Many of them will go on to the newly constructed Greenbelt Middle School which will open in August for the new school year. This is also the last sixth grade class that will graduate from GES, as starting from this August, sixth graders will attend Greenbelt Middle School as part of a countywide realignment. Many awards were given out at the promotion ceremony.
The promotion ceremony starts with the Pledge of Allegiance and America the Beautiful.
June 16, 17
It is a generally known fact that Greenbelters, especially those living in Old Greenbelt, love yard sales. Every weekend when the weather is nice, there will be several roadside sales. On Saturday morning, motorists entering Old Greenbelt on Southway are often greeted with several tables at the intersection of Ridge Road and Southway. This past weekend I visited four roadside yard sales, three along Ridge Road and one on Northway, and they were all different.
This weekend, St. Hugh Catholic Church is holding its annual Rummage Sale, and enterprising Greenbelters know that there will be many cars going to the sale on Ridge Road. Here Donell (left) and Angela set up their table on the south side of the road not far from the church.
Cooperatives play a large role in the lives of many Greenbelt residents. They can live in a housing cooperative (Greenbelt Homes, Inc.), buy groceries in a cooperative supermarket (Greenbelt Consumer Cooperative), bank in a cooperative bank (Greenbelt Federal Credit Union), read a cooperative newspaper (Greenbelt News Review), send their children to a cooperative nursery school (Greenbelt Nursery School), eat and be entertained in a cooperative café (New Deal Café), and vacation at a cooperative camp (Rapidan Camps). These seven cooperatives form the Greenbelt Cooperative Alliance, and each year during October, the Co-op Month, a number of events are held. 2012 is the International Year of Cooperatives, and many other activities have been planned. On Sunday, June 10, representatives of the co-ops set up a tent at the Farmers Market with information and activities for kids.
Jaky Lilly (right) is a parent representing the Greenbelt Nursery School, and she is offering Jackson seeds to plant. The choices include cascade giant pole beans and royal burgundy bush beans. Looking from behind the table is Sylvia Lewis, the coordinator of today’s event for the Greenbelt Cooperative Alliance.
On June 3, during Greenbelt Day Weekend, two Japanese visitors came to Greenbelt. They were from Senri in Osaka Prefecture, a Japanese New Town which is turning 50 this year. The visitors wanted to learn from Greenbelt’s 75th anniversary celebration, and they were interested in seeing Greenbelt’s community gardens as the concept is becoming popular in Japan. John Henry Jones, long-time president of the Greenbelt Garden Club, gave them a tour of his community garden plot, and I tagged along and took these photos.
The community gardens have three sections. This one is directly opposite Greenbelt Homes, Inc.’s administrative building. Here John Henry Jones (right) points out the garden plots to Mr. Suzuki, an associate professor in the Department of Architectural Engineering at Osaka University.
The predecessor of the Greenbelt Concert Band was the Greenbelt Community Band which was founded in 1940, three years after new residents moved into the city. The Concert Band now plays about twenty concerts in the Greater Washington Area including several annual traditions in Greenbelt: the Greenbelt Day concert, the Fourth of July concert at Greenbelt Lake before the fireworks show, and the Holiday Lights concert in December. Since 1994, the band has been led by conductor Thomas Cherrix.
Before the Greenbelt Concert Band plays its annual Greenbelt Day concert, Mayor Judith Davis gives the 75th anniversary address. It was 75 years ago this June that Maryland Legislature passed Greenbelt’s city charter, creating the first council/manager government in the state.
The advertisement in the Greenbelt News Review reads: “ESTATE SALE THIS WEEKEND – June 1, 2, & 3. Rain or shine. Entire household including antiques, glass and ceramics, furniture, paintings, bronzes, kitchen items, Depression glass, books and more. Thousands of items. Friday/Sat/Sun, 9 – 4 each day. Sunday is 1/2 price day.”
Tim and Dave chat in front of their parents’ house. Their parents Bill and Stella bought this GHI house in 2000 and greatly enjoyed living in Old Greenbelt. From their home it is a short walk to the Roosevelt Center, library, and Community Center, and they participated in many activities and made many friends. One of the their regrets, Tim tells me, was that they had not moved to Greenbelt earlier. Bill passed away in 2009 and Stella recently in April 2012.
The Greenbelt-based Alight Dance Theater’s latest project is titled “Hometown Heroes: 75 Years of Extraordinary Greenbelt Women.” This is “a site-specific dance/movement installation situated in and around the Greenbelt Museum home which explores the experiences of the women who lived in Greenbelt as young mothers and ‘homemakers’ in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s to the present day.” The piece premiered on Sunday June 3 during Greenbelt Day weekend (when the city celebrated the 75th anniversary of its charter), and these photos are from a dress rehearsal the day before.
Michelle Cardoso hangs clothes in the service side yard. This Greenbelt Museum house is a two-bedroom, two-story, cinderblock townhouse from 1937 when Greenbelt was founded. This side of the house facing the road is called the service side (the opposite side is called the garden side). The original city manual specifies that clothes can only be hung at the service side on weekdays and Saturdays before 4 p.m. The plaque on the wall says that the Museum was dedicated on October 10, 1987, “On the Occasion of the City’s 50th Anniversary.”