Posts of interest to local history buffs, written by local history buffs!

Opening Night Concert at the Bandshell

Opening Night at West Park BandshellOpening Night at West Park Bandshell

Wednesday, June 19, 2013, marks the opening concert for the Ann Arbor Civic Band summer season! All performances will take place in the West Park bandshell. As you can see from this 1943 photograph of the old bandshell, lounging in the grass before this A2 landmark is a summer tradition that goes back many years. Read about the history of West Park in Oldnews, and catch some of the recent photographs we've posted detailing the construction of the original bandshell in 1938.

AADL Talks to Alan Brown

In 1984, a very young Alan Brown, (a recent UM grad in Vocal Performance) was stunned to be offered the position of Festival Administrator by Eugene Power, the founder of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival - an opportunity that literally changed the course of his life. We speak to him by phone from San Francisco where he is the principal of WolfBrown, an advisory to foundations, public agencies and charitable organizations.

Alan speaks of his fond memories of Eugene Power, his firm guiding hand and generous support in the early days of the Festival. He remembers a gracious Ella Fitzgerald, a panic moment with Marcel Marceau, and his encounters with other great performers who graced the Festival stage.

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AADL_Talks_To-Alan_Brown.mp3 22.1 MB

AADL Talks to Susan Pollay

Susan Pollay, a former Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival remembers vividly her personal encounters and backstage stories of such entertainment greats such as Tony Bennett and Mel Torme.

Susan also talked about the early years of the Festival when Eugene and Sadye Power were a strong presence; the many roles she played, and changes the Festival has undergone through the years.

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AADL_Talks_To-Susan_Pollay.mp3 21.4 MB

AADL Talks to Jamie Mistry

A long-time supporter of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Jamie Mistry is proud to help celebrate its 30th season in 2013. He started as a volunteer and through the years, has taken on many roles, including as Chair of the Board of Directors. He remembers the challenges of funding an arts organization during hard times, and the sensitivity necessary in programming to remain sustainable.

These days he remains a community member of the Festival and looks forward to bringing his family to yet another A2SF season.

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AADL_Talks_To-Y_Jamie_Mistry.mp3 32.7 MB

Ann Arbor Open School Family Stories

Mike Derhammer's class at Ann Arbor Open spent the winter interviewing family members and thinking about funny and interesting stories from their own lives. Along the way they discovered that storytelling is so much a part of who we are. Sometimes it's fun and enlightening to just stop and listen to each other's tales. We hope you enjoy listening to these stories as much as we did!

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openstories2013.mp3 28.55 MB

Frederick 'Bud' Stein Dies in Ann Arbor

Local Ann Arbor Kiwanis Club and U-M Alumni Association member Frederick "Bud" Stein died Wednesday at age 91 in his Ann Arbor home. He is remembered for his constant community involvement. He grew up in Ann Arbor and graduated from Ann Arbor High School in 1939. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, coming back to attend the University of Michigan. He graduated in 1944 with a degree in economics.

He lead the charge for tree-lined widened sidewalks on both sides of the street for downtown Ann Arbor in 1965. That same year, he made a presentation to the National Civic League that won Ann Arbor's first award as an "All American City". He was very involved with the combined YMCA/YWCA.

You can read more about Bud Stein's life and public service works in the AnnArbor.com website.

Ann Arbor Resident's Story of Survival

A current resident of Ann Arbor has a story to tell about her remarkable survival during a period of tremendous upheaval and bloodshed a lifetime ago and an ocean away. Miriam Garvil's autobiography I Have To Survive: Miriam Garvil's Story is the culmination of twenty years' worth of work. Ninety-two year old Garvil, who resides in an assisted living facility in Ann Arbor, began writing with the encouragement of social worker Ruth Campbell, who continued to assist Garvil's work even after retiring herself.

"I Have To Survive" reveals the author's past growing up in Poland before the outbreak of the Second World War, and recounts her memories of the concentration camps Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. She lost her mother, father and sister in the camps, and recalls her promise to her father: "If you don't survive, I will survive for you".

You can find more information on Miriam Garvil and her story in this month's issue of the Ann Arbor Observer.

Attention Genealogists! Your Ancestry Library Edition Has New Resources!

While new content is added, and updated regularly, in your Ancestry Library Edition database, the following new resources are especially noteworthy for 2013:

1. Public Member Trees
Public Member Trees have become the bridge between individual researchers and original records/sources to tell the family story. Many clues about family history can be found in these trees, which include photos, personal stories, etc. Nearly 40 million trees have been contributed by more than two million Ancestry.com members. Until now these trees were visible only to paying members of Ancestry.com (These members have indicated that their tree(s) can be viewed by all Ancestry members). The trees can change over time as users edit, remove, or otherwise modify the data.

The Fine Print: The trees in the Library Edition are read-only. Library patrons cannot edit the existing trees or add new trees. Information about living people is not shown. Each Public Member Tree is owned by the individual who put it on Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com does not verify that any tree or fact is correct, nor will they correct or edit a tree. Library patrons will not have the ability to contact the owner of the tree. Library patrons can submit anonymous comments about any tree.

2. U.S. City Directories
This new feature is a collection of directories for U.S. cities and counties in various years. The database currently contains directories for all states except Alaska. Coverage is 1821-1989. Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.The Gale City Directories Collection is included. Searching locally? The Ancestry Library Edition has Ann Arbor Directories from 1886 to 1960!
TIP: Use the Ancestry Card Catalog feature to go directly to U.S. City Directories.

Interested in more information? Join us for our upcoming Genealogy Online Research Class: Thursday March 14, 2013: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch or check out our collection of Genealogy materials.

AADL Talks to Kathy Kelley

Kathy Kelly moved into the Hill Street houses when she was very young, but she recalls her life there as a member of the White Panther Party as a positive, life-changing personal experience and social experiment. Kathy talks about daily life in the commune with her friends and colleagues, some of the events she participated in, including the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, as well as her apprenticeship as a graphic artist under legendary rock poster artist, Gary Grimshaw. Kathy's experience with the White Panther Party and Rainbow People's Party led to a successful career in art direction for publishing with magazines such as Chicago, Outside, CREEM, and most especially in educational publishing with Weekly Reader Corporation and Scholastic.

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AADL_Talks_To-Kathy_Kelley.mp3 26.3 MB

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

Forty-four years ago, on November 10, 1968, Neil Young (whose critically-acclaimed autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippy Dream is currently a New York Times bestseller) recorded the song "Sugar Mountain" here in Ann Arbor at the now-legendary Canterbury House, then located at the end of this alley at 330 Maynard.

Recorded between the time of Young's membership with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, this ode to lost youth written four years earlier was acknowledged by fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell (who also played the Canterbury House) as the inspiration for her similarly-themed, The Circle Game. It's one of Young's earliest and more traditional folk songs, and the sincerity evident in this live recording is underscored by its remarkable intimacy.

Check out Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House in our CD collection and some of our Oldnews articles about Ann Arbor's Canterbury House, at the time a coffee house music venue and center for outreach programs associated with St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Local writer Alan Glenn wrote a great article about the Canterbury House in a recent issue of Michigan Today.

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