Thursday, March 22, 2018

Worcester Remembrances - Neighborhood Changes

We grew up right on the Worcester line. But it mostly changed a lot by development—like almost every place I guess. The Auburn Mall, which is there now, was never there. We lived right behind—and my parents still live there—right behind what’s now an industrial park. It used to be a sandpit when we were growing up, and it ended up becoming an industrial park and the other thing that was huge, that I think changed was that 290, the interstate highway, went right through where the industrial park was right behind our house. Maybe about—our street that we grew up on was a dead end so maybe like six more houses and then at the end of the road is right where the highway went through. There was a pond and I think you can kind of gauge the progress and what happened with the neighborhood a lot by the pond because when my mom grew up here, there was a dance hall and it was an active pond. People would come from all over the town to dance at the dance hall and have parties there, and so it was kind of like a resortish kind of place. And then as the pond got stagnant, and a lot of it I think had to do with the highway going in—with a lot of the development that went around the pond, that the dance hall went. We used to fish in it when we were kids, and now there’s just nothing worth fishing for in it. So we kind of saw that go downhill. So it changed in that way I think a lot. It’s still a community though. I still go, and everybody—the neighbors, their houses are very close together; a lot of the grandkids have taken over the houses.

From Voices of Worcester Women

Friday, December 15, 2017

Coming to America

The Worcester project annual event was a success. There was a standing-room only audience to listen to the stories of eight women who settled in the greater Worcester area from other countries. Read all about it in this Worcester Telegram & Gazette article.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Worcester Women's Oral History Project Annual Event

Join us as we learn about Worcester women originally from Colombia, Burma, China, Brazil, and Algeria. In their own words we learn what it is like to arrive in a new land and what it takes to forge a new path for themselves and their families.  The Worcester Women's Oral History Project partnered with five Worcester organizations that provide education and training for immigrants and refugees:  The Educational Bridge Program at Notre Dame Health Care, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester, Refugee Artisans of Worcester, The Clemente Course in the Humanities, And Worcester Refugee Assistance Project. Meet at the Saxe Room in the Worcester Public Library on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.  This event is free and open to the public.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Immigrant and Refugee Stories of Worcester Women

Join the Worcester Women's Oral History Project as we share stories of Worcester Women who emigrated from other countries. Hear the stories of how they came to the United States and their impressions upon their arrival in their own words. December 5, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the Saxe Room of the Worcester Public Library.  Free and open to the public.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Immigrant Stories

The annual Worcester Women's Oral History Project will be held on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm at the Worcester Public Library.  It will feature the stories of Worcester women who have immigrated to the United States from countries such as Burma, Columbia, Ghana, Brazil, Algeria, and China. This is a community collaboration with Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester, Refugee Artisans of Worcester, Worcester Clemente  Courses, Notre Dame du Lac Bridge Program, and Worcester Refugee Assistance Project.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Finding Her Own Path: Leaving the Farm

Because in essence what happened was that I have lived several different lives.  One of them is my farm life, in North Dakota.  And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  Being able to grow up in the wide-open space, it does something for you.  Everyone was poor, but nobody knew it because everybody was the same, because that was just the way it was. It was just assumed [on the farm] that everybody worked.  The only reason you didn’t work is if you were too ill to do so, or if you didn’t have enough knowledge, and even then, those kids still had their chores to do too.  All of my life, work was just something that you did.  There’s a joy in doing a job and doing it well; and having challenges thrown at you and being able to respond to them—and do a damn good job at it. 

If I can get through Clark [University] for crying out loud, if I can get through an MBA over there I can do goddamned anything!  Get your education.  That, to me, is the most important thing.  After that, think about getting married.  Because you might still get married for the wrong reason, you’re trying to get away from home, you know you have some physiological needs or something, but at least you don’t have to marry somebody because you’ve got to have someone support you.  Why do you think I tell you that I got all that education I had?  I was divorced by the time that I started my master’s degree, but I divorced twice anyhow.  And I finally came to the conclusion that there was nobody out there who was going to take care of me.  Try to do things that build your self-esteem, and education can do that, so that you have strength as an individual, so that you don’t have to lean on somebody else.  Do the hard work because you want to learn.  And the more you learn, the better you are. 

Laurel Sanderson
from In Her Shoes

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Passion Project: Being Abby

One woman who I portray, Abby Kelley Foster, the 19th century abolitionist and women’s rights activist, is certainly an inspiration.  How she tirelessly did what she did on the road, lecturing at a time when women were supposed to be submissive, and not have minds of their own, and certainly not speaking to mixed audiences [of males and females].  She just did it, she just did it.  She was committed to human rights.  She was born on the same day as Martin Luther King, Jr.  She was born 118 years earlier.  And they had the exact same message, human rights.  Equality and justice for all.  I would have to say she’s one of my biggest heroes.  And then you say to yourself, “I’m complaining about laundry, the house being a mess, and other people don’t have a house.”  Those are the day-to-day inspirations, the people that keep on.  And I know several feminist activists who have spent years [working] for reproductive rights and are still working 30, 40—well they were working before Roe v Wade so 40, 50 years involved with reproductive freedom, and they keep on going.  They’re inspirational.
Lynne McKenney Lydick
excerpt from In Her Shoes