Week of February 2, 2020

At the January council meeting the council discussed honoring our heritage by renaming Nordling Park to Polly's Park in recognition of Polly Shank. Polly and her husband Jack were the force behind our annual 4th of July parade. She was involved with the Painters group and the establishment of the White Bear Center for the Arts. In my mind, she was the grande dame of Birchwood.
 
Here is an excerpt that brings home the point of why community is who we are and why we need to cherish it.  It is from the autobiography of Hy Berman, distinguished University of Minnesota professor and frequent Almanac guest:
 
"A community without knowledge of its past is like a person with amnesia. It can exist and function from day to day, but its lack of memory leaves it without a feeling of purpose, direction, or identity. A sense of history is recognizing the influence of the past in the very web our daily lives-- in our habits of thought and speech, in the streets we walk through, in the ways we earn a living. It is in the touch of humility that comes with knowing that wherever we are in life, we stand upon the shoulders of those who have gone before. For, ...history is all of us."
 
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