The Friends of the Library Book Sale will be Saturday, March 12, from 8 – 9:30 a.m. in the Orchid Club Auditorium.
There will be a good selection of large-print books, as well as many regular-print hardbacks, tradebacks and paperbacks. DVDs and puzzles will also be available.
Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle
The FotL recently added the following works of non-fiction: “The Mafia” by Al Cimino, “Into the Raging Sea” by Rachel Slade, “The Nazi’s Granddaughter” by Silvia Foti, “The Panzer Killers” by Pete Hegseth, and “Rocket Men” by Robert Kurson.
Stop in and see our excellent selection.
Travelers tickets available March 12
We have added a trip to our spring schedule. On April 21, a bus will take you to the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa. The bus leaves at 9 a.m. and returns by 5:30 p.m.
You pay $35 for bus transportation and driver tip. No worries about parking and fighting traffic.
The initial sale was at the Feb. 26 Pancake Breakfast, and there will be another sale at the March 12 Donut Drop-in.
You can call the trip host Sandy Arbbuckle at 803-443-9175 to get on this special trip, but do not delay, it will sell out quickly.
Royal Oaks Women’s 18 Hole Golf League
Day One of the Solheim Cup was Alternate Shots on March 8. The score was even between the U.S. and European teams.
The teams winning their match were Diana Galla and Nancy Hersey, Bea Terry and Sherry Deberadinis, Carol Clark and Mary Stimson, and Joan O’Brien and Chris Orndorff.
There was a tie between the teams of Noreen Dygert and Denise Blanchard and Lisa Juhasz and Joanne Welch.
Royal Oaks Women’s 10-Hole Golf League
Winners of the Low Net game on March 1 in the first group were Diana Galla, first, and a tie for second between Kim Hessel and JT LeMasters. Nancy Hersey was first in the second group, and Carol Clark came in second. Stella VanDerwarker won first place in the third group, and Joan O’Brien was second. Elaine Rotker was closest to the pin.
Royal Oaks Lady Niners (ROLN)
On Thursday, March 3, the game was a Par 3 Tournament.
For Flight A, Lisa Juhasz was the winner. Nancy Hersey was second, and Kerry Tims, Salita Timmermeyer and Patty Waddell tied for third.
For Flight B, Shirley Krug was the winner. Ginger Drake was second, and Cindy Kocher was third. The following ladies made a chip-in: Sandy Arbuckle on hole 12; Cindy Kocher on hole 13; and Nancy Hersey on hole 14.
Congratulations to all!
Upstate New York Club hosting Roaring 20s Party
Upstate New York Club will host a Roaring ‘20s Speakeasy Party on Martini Monday, March 28, with a live cabaret act and dinner special.
Break out your zoot suits, flapper dresses, and pearls for a revival of the ‘20s Gatsby-life in Oak Run.
A social gathering begins at 5:15 p.m. in the Palm Grove.
In a new twist on the traditional BYOB, the Club will provide non-alcoholic mixers for select martini-style drinks, and bartenders will hand-craft some of your favorite gin, vodka, or bourbon drinks. As always, patrons bring their own alcohol. Bring your favorite martini glass, if you prefer!
A catered buffet dinner at 6:15 p.m. will feature Harry’s Seafood’s delightful jambalaya and red beans and rice!
We will host one of Central Florida’s most enjoyable solo acts, Lisa Hanna Coan. Lisa’s sultry repertoire includes your favorite songs of the 60s thru 90s. There will be music for the line dancers, too! This will be an evening of good times and great memories!
Tickets are $18 members/$20 guests and are available at the Orchid Club Saturday, Mar. 5, 10 to noon, and Saturday, Mar 12, at Donut Drop-In from 8 to 10 a.m.
New members, from anywhere, are always welcome at only $6 per year! For tickets or information, contact Tricia Boelter before Mar. 18.
Oak Run Garden Club
On Tuesday, March 15, we will be taking a field trip to Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens in Williston with a guided tour. The cost of $11 will be collected at the meeting. Lunch will be on your own at the Ivy House in Williston. Please sign up at the meeting.
We will meet at Palm Grove at 8:45 a.m. to leave at 9 a.m. Carpooling may be available, depending on individual drivers.
Watch channel 12 for more information.
Oak Room Bar & Grill Luncheon: Thursday, March 17, at 11:30 a.m. at ORB&G. RSVP by March 14 with Annmarie F. (352) 237-9838.
In lieu of our indoor picnic this year, we are having this lunch together! Come enjoy!
Monthly Luncheon: Thursday, March 24, at 1 p.m. at The Ivy House Restaurant, 106 NW Main St. Williston, FL 32696. RSVP by March 22, Gloria, 570-606-7107.
Monthly Meetings: On the last Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Until further notice, these meetings will be held in the Card Room of the Orchid Club, since our usual location is under construction; check with the Citizen for updates.
Ethnic Luncheon: Carol S. 864-477-0051
Membership Info: Call Patricia at (352) 445-7428
We are open to all ladies of Oak Run. There are never any dues; new members are always welcome!
Tune in to Len Teitler’s “Do You Remember?,” narrated by Anna Boodee and featuring Cool Down at the Palm Grove on Dec. 11. The program follows FYI daily from March 11 to March 25.
PACOR’s upcoming play, Doublewide, TX, features a bunch of lovable “misfits’’ banding together to outsmart city leaders. Get ready for some old-fashioned humor (move over Hee Haw) that will have you rollin’ in your seats!
Here are the dates and times of the performances of Doublewide, TX:
Friday, March 25 – Dinner Theatre Performance catered by Royal Oaks. Dinner’s at 5:30 p.m., show begins at 7. Tickets are $32 pp.
Saturday, March 26 – Performance at 7 p.m. Reserved seats are $10, general are $8.
Sunday, March 27- 3 p.m. matinee. Reserved seats are $10, general are $8.
So, don’t miss the fun! Call our ticket chair, Mary Young, the hostess with the mostest, at 631- 355-5998 to get your tickets today! Mary will also be selling them at the Orchid Club from 8-10 on Feb. 12 and Feb. 26.
Oak Run Democratic Club (ORDC)
The ORDC will meet March 24 at 7 p.m. at Oak Run’s Orchid Club. This will be the group’s first in-person meeting since the beginning of the pandemic.
For those members who cannot attend, the meeting will be made available via YouTube, after the meeting. For this meeting, proper distancing and a mask optional policy will be followed.
The guest speaker will be Yvonne Hayes Hinson, running for office in Florida’s District 20.
During the meeting, the results of a recent members’ survey will be reviewed.
The ORDC meets monthly to discuss issues of interest to Marion County Democrats and other progressives. It is also a great opportunity to enjoy the company of like-minded individuals.
Members from the club will also work with the Marion County Democrats to help sign up new Democratic voters in the county. These efforts will be done during several of the local fairs and festivals.
For more information, contact Linda Chitwood, Club president, at linda [email protected]
Oak Run Republican Club
Our next scheduled Republican Club meeting will be Wednesday, April 27, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Please join us as we welcome several interesting Republican candidates who are running in the Aug. 23 election primary who are interested in our support. We will hear them speak, have a Q&A, meet them personally and sign their petitions if needed.
Stay tuned to Channel 12/DECCA website and the Marion Citizen for the next meeting details. We should have 3 or 4 speakers to help you become an informed electorate.
We meet the last Wednesday of every month in the Palm Grove Auditorium. Our membership drive ends this month. Dues are $7 and will be collected when you check in for the meeting.
We encourage members to become active in the Club committees. Your volunteering means we will have a more informative and vibrant organization. We have a new Communications Committee headed by Eugene Beacham. They have already sent out some Calls to Action to members on pertinent issues affecting us as Floridians and as Americans. When you get one, be sure to call, email or write your federal or state representative or senators.
Club members and invited guests are welcome to attend. Since we are a gated community, only members can invite guests to our meetings. Call Pete Fraleigh at 845-867-6262 if you have any questions.
Oak Run Irish Club St. Patrick’s Day Party
Our Irish Club will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party on Thursday, March 17, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at Palm Grove. Royal Oaks will be serving a corn beef and cabbage dinner with all the trimmings (including German chocolate cake and coffee for dessert), OR you may choose Chicken Champagne instead (at ticket sales). BYOB!
Entertainment for the evening is DJ Fred Campbell. Door prizes include four $25 gift cards, plus a special Irish gift basket valued at $100. 50/50 will also be available.
Your club officers will be judging a “Wearing-of-the Green” contest to chose the “most Irish” outfit of the evening for a $50 gift card prize!
Cost is $18/member (club subsidized) and $26/guests.
We are collecting $6 for ’22 dues if you are not yet paid up or would like to join (requesting separate check please).
New members welcome – must be Oak Run residents!
Ticket sales: Thursday, March 3, in the OC card room 9-11 a.m.
FMI: Steve 352-861-1223 or Ann 606-776-4785 for tickets.
‘31,’ Bunco in Orchid Club through April
Please note that during the months of March and April, “31” will only be played on the 1st Friday (March 4, March 18, April 1, and April 15) at the Orchid Club at 5:30 p.m. Call Pat at 352-291-1456 for more info.
During the months of March and April, Bunco will be played at the Card Room in the Orchid Club at 6 p.m.
This is due to renovations being done at the Island Club.
The Genealogy Club meets on the third Friday of each month in the Card Room at 9:30 a.m. This month it is on March 18 with the program being “Natural Disasters That Affected Our Ancestors.”
We all have heard stories that are passed down from one generation to the next. Often they recount how an ancestor coped with a devastating flood, tornado, drought or earthquake. These natural disasters very often directly affected our families in terrible ways. Come to this month’s meeting to hear about some of them.
Residents are invited to come to a meeting to decide if they want to join this interesting group of family tree climbers.
Ballroom Dance Club
Weekly dance classes are continuing on Wednesdays at the Orchid Club from 3-4 p.m.
Professional dance teacher Butch Phillips will be teaching the 2 Step this month. Cost is $30 per person for four lessons.
For more information, call Michele Wehner at 873-7494 or Audrey Haskew at 598-3438.
Our first ballroom dance of the season will be Sunday, April 24, at the Palm Grove from 6-10 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. It will be catered by Royal Oaks.
Tickets are $20 for members and $30 for guests. Tickets will be available Sunday afternoons at the Palm Grove from 2-4 p.m. during dance practice.
Bocce awards dinners
The Bocce Club will hold their awards dinner on Sunday, April 3, at 5 p.m. at the Orchid Club. Bob Evans will be catering the event with a choice between turkey and stuffing or pot roast with pie for desert.
The cost is $12 pp with music by Damian; BYOB; 50/50s will be sold and door prizes given away.
Team captains will be handling ticket sales, and the deadline for purchasing will be Friday, March 18, any questions can be directed to Rick Kamasa at 352-237-2354 or 215-313-7405.
Mexican Fiesta Game Night
Ohio-Michigan-Indiana (OMI), the Fun Club, is hosting Mexican Fiesta Game Night April 7, 5 to 9:30 p.m. at the Orchid Club.
The price is $23 for members and $26 for guests.
BYOB. There will be a 50/50 raffle.
Event is catered by Royal Oaks – taco bar with all the fixings, with apple cobbler.
Games to be played are: Ring Toss, Golf Game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Baseball Toss, Newlywed Game, and, just maybe, The Fortune Teller.
Ticket sales are at The Orchid Club March 12, during Donut Drop-In from 8-9:30 a.m., and on March 26, during Pancake Breakfast, from 8-9:30 a.m.
For Year 2022, no dues for members. New members $6 p/p; separate check to OMI.
For more information, call Della at 352-237-6474 or Elaine at 352-861-8956.
Donut Drop-in 2nd Saturday of month
Come and join us at the Orchid Club for fresh hot coffee, OJ, and your choice of donut, bagel with cream cheese, English muffin, or pastry. Any one of these are for a mere $2 or two items for $3, every 2nd Saturday of the month at the Orchid Club Auditorium 8 a.m. till 9:30 a.m.
The Troubadours are pleased to announce the new season and rehearsals for our spring concert. We are always looking for people who enjoy singing and would like to join us. Rehearsals are now taking place on Thursdays at Palm Grove from 1-3 p.m. It’s not too late to join the fun.
We enjoy singing with our returning members and look forward to adding new voices to our choir. All new comers and past members are welcome to participate.
So if you enjoy singing and would like some more information in joining our chorus, please contact Jim Balch at 229-485-6711, or mail Jim at [email protected]
Looking forward to seeing you!
Acoustic Jam Club of Oak Run
Because Oak Run’s Island Club has been temporarily closed for maintenance, the Acoustic Jam Club meets at the main ballroom of the Orchid Club. This gives the members the chance to spread out and enjoy the larger venue. The group meets 3-5 p.m. each Thursday.
We look for all musicians in Oak Run who wish to gather and play acoustic selections. If you play a guitar, uke, mandolin, banjo, bass, percussion or other instruments, you are welcome to join. Singing is not required but encouraged.
We require that members be able to play 2-5 chords, keep rhythm and play/sing along with others. Chorded copies of the songs for the day will be available at each session.
Our goal is to be able to perform as a group, have fun, and learn new songs. Therefore, for the first three Thursdays, we have a set group of songs to play. The last Thursday of the month is set aside for individual solo, or, if preferred, accompanied playing.
If this sounds interesting, we’d love to see you. For more info, contact Irv Becker at 816-809-7668 by voice and text, or email him at [email protected]
• St. Patrick’s Day Sock Gnome project. This adorable sock gnome is a fun and easy craft for St. Patrick’s Day. You will need to provide scissors, a glue gun with glue sticks or a strong craft glue, a plastic grocery bag, and anything optional. Grab bags are available starting Wednesday, March 2, at the Clinton Public Library and the Lyons Branch Library. Supplies are limited and the bags are available until gone.
• CrossView Church, 705 14th Ave., Fulton, Illinois, will host a free community meal from 5:30-6:15 p.m. Pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and assorted desserts are on the menu. If the River Bend School District in Fulton is canceled because of a weather issue, the meal also will be canceled.
• Maple Syrup Demonstration, 1 p.m., Westbrook Park, DeWitt. Participants will tap trees, taste their sap and process syrup in two phases. Look for the group in the back parking lot.
• Maple Syrup Demonstration, 3:30 p.m., Eden Valley Refuge. Participants will tap trees, taste their sap and process syrup in two phases. Look for us in the trailhead parking lot.
• The Solar System, 6 p.m., Rock Creek Park. Clinton County Conservation will be projecting on its 12-foot screen a very realistic view of the solar system. Participants will visit all eight planets, the sun, and the moon.
• The Sawmill Museum Winter Speaker Series: Where is Blackhawk? By Russell Fry, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Sawmill Museum, 2231 Grant St., Clinton. Free to attend. RSVPs are not needed to attend and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, the schedule can be found at https://www.thesawmillmuseum.org/speakerseries.html or call 242-0343.
• Homeschool students are invited to the Hurstville Interpretive Center, 18670 63rd St., Maquoketa, from 10–11 a.m. to learn about the American bison through activities and animal artifacts. Register 48 hours before the program. To register call the Hurstville Interpretive Center at (563) 652-3783 or email [email protected]
• Native mushroom ID and cultivation program, 10 a.m., Wapsi River Environmental Education Center, Dixon. Join Naturalist Becky from the Wapsi River Center and guest speaker Nick Buonauro, co-owner and laboratory manager of Dark Shadow Mushrooms to learn about native lowa mushrooms and how to cultivate them. There is no cost. Registration is limited and required by calling (563) 328-3286. The Wapsi River Environmental Education Center is 6 miles south of Wheatland or 1 mile northwest of Dixon, Iowa by taking County Road Y4E. Then turn north at 52nd Avenue and follow the signs for about 1 mile.
• #52Stories. Saturday, 1:30-3:00 p.m. The #52Stories genealogy project provides the inspiration you need to write down one story every week for a year. You can do this in a handwritten journal, blog, voice or video recordings. During this meeting participants will chat about what they are doing with their own #52Stories project. This meeting will be held at the Lyons Branch Library. Call 242-5355 for details and to sign up for March.
• The Central DeWitt Performing Arts Center, 519 E. 11th St., will host a comedy show featuring Kenny Ahern at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets will be sold at the door. Everyone is welcome to attend.
• Prince of Peace Parish will offer two presentations in our “Peace Soup” Lenten Series this month. Tuesday, March 8, join us in Prince of Peace Parish Hall, 1105 LaMetta Wynn Drive, at 6:00 pm, for a simple meal of soup and bread. This will be followed by a presentation, “The Resettlement of Afghan Refugees in Our Area” featuring Tim and Mary Moothart, a couple from Dubuque. They will talk about their work with refugees and discuss ways in which we can support their efforts. You may bring your own soup bowl if you wish. The second presentation, “A Visit to the U.S.-Mexican Border” will be on March 29.
• Richard and Helen Rockrohr, of Maquoketa, invite travelogue attendees to explore three of Costa Rica’s national parks March 8 at the Operahouse Theater in DeWitt when they present “Captivating Costa Rica.” The annual travel series is sponsored by the DeWitt Noon Lions Club, and shows are at 3 and 7 p.m. A $5 donation is suggested.
• Stonecroft Clinton Women’s Connection, 9:30 a.m., Community Reformed Church, 747 N. 12th St. The cost to attend is $10. There will be a brunch followed by a special feature and an inspirational, non-denominational speaker. There are no dues or membership required to attend the monthly meetings. Special feature is Detective Rod Livesay with the Clinton Police Department. He will present “Facebook, SnapChat, and Law Enforcement.” Speaker Dorothy Smith of Moline, Illinois will speak on “Your Unique Fragrance.” All women are invited to attend. Reservations are due March 4. For reservations or more information, contact Donna at (563) 357-6843 or Nancy at 242-8819 or (563) 357-8859.
• Device Advice, Lyons Branch Library, 2–4 p.m. Technology giving you trouble? Drop into the library for one-on-one help during Device Advice hours.
• The Sawmill Museum Winter Speaker Series: LyondellBasell, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Sawmill Museum, 2231 Grant St., Clinton. Free to attend. RSVPs are not needed to attend and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, the schedule can be found at https://www.thesawmillmuseum.org/speakerseries.html or call 242-0343.
• The Lyons Business & Professionals Association is partnering with The Trivia Chick for a trivia night. The room opens at 6 p.m. for social hour and registration, and trivia begins at 7 p.m. Held at the Tuscany at Rastrelli’s, the night will benefit LBPA programming. To register, email [email protected] or leave a comment on the Facebook page’s event at https://fb.me/e/7ePP0grSS. Cost is $10 per person with teams of up to 8. You can also register at the door. Bring your own snacks to the Tuscany. Rastrelli’s will have a cash bar for the evening. Please no outside alcohol.
• Morrison Music Theater Association’s production of “Steel Magnolias” at the Morrison Institute of Technology auditorium, Morrison, Illinois, 7 p.m. Tickets are general admission, no reserved seating. Advance tickets are $10 and are available at Fitzgerald Pharmacy, 124 E. Main St., Morrison, and Clinton Printing, 1402 Roosevelt St., Clinton
• Morrison Music Theater Association’s production of “Steel Magnolias” at the Morrison Institute of Technology auditorium in Morrison, Illinois, 7 p.m. Tickets are general admission, no reserved seating. Advance tickets are $10 and are available at Fitzgerald Pharmacy, 124 E. Main St., Morrison, and Clinton Printing, 1402 Roosevelt St., Clinton.
• Morrison Music Theater Association’s production of “Steel Magnolias” at the Morrison Institute of Technology auditorium in Morrison, Illinois, 2 p.m. Tickets are general admission, no reserved seating. Advance tickets are $10 and are available at Fitzgerald Pharmacy, 124 E. Main St., Morrison, and Clinton Printing, 1402 Roosevelt St., Clinton.
• Crafternoon the Lyons Brach Library in Clinton. Beginning Crochet, 1–2:30 p.m. Would you like to learn how to crochet but not sure where to start? Sandy Logan is teaching us the basics. You will need to bring an H hook and a worsted weight yarn that is not fine or bulky. We will be practicing stitches. Call 242-5355 to register as seating is limited.
• The Sawmill Museum Winter Speaker Series: Naeve Family Farm & Beef, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Sawmill Museum, 2231 Grant St., Clinton. Free to attend. RSVPs are not needed to attend and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, the schedule can be found at https://www.thesawmillmuseum.org/speakerseries.html or call 242-0343.
• The Sawmill Museum Winter Speaker Series: Eastern Iowa Young Farmers Coalition by Molly Schintler, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Sawmill Museum, 2231 Grant St., Clinton. Free to attend. RSVPs are not needed to attend and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, the schedule can be found at https://www.thesawmillmuseum.org/speakerseries.html or call 242-0343.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Fayetteville Public Library has released their calendar of events for March.
In accordance with the City of Fayetteville Ordinance, masks are required for all patrons until further notice. Visit faylib.org/events for registration links and more information on any of the following.
CLASSES, LECTURES & WORKSHOPS
Virtual: Book Chatter, Wednesday, March 2 & 16, 4 p.m., Zoom. This friendly discussion allows FPL readers to share what they have been reading, as well as lets them give and get new book recommendations. Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Registration is required.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Fridays & Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., First Security Bank Board Room. Fayetteville Public Library has partnered with CARE Community Center to host free tax preparation, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) from the IRS, on Fridays and Saturdays during this tax filing season. Sessions are by appointment only. Please wear a face covering when interacting with volunteers and maintain a distance of six feet. Registration is required.
Clases de GED, Viernes, 10 a.m. / Fridays, 10 a.m., Ann Henry Board Room. La instructora Ayme Villanueva de Crowder College dirigirá este curso de 24 semanas para preparar y obtener un diploma de equivalencia de secundaria. Este curso será dirigido completamente en español. Una tableta y los materiales de estudio de Desarrollo Educativo General (GED) son gratuitos para los participantes elegibles. Es necesario registrarse. Instructor Ayme Villanueva from Crowder College will lead this 24-week course to prepare and earn a high school equivalency diploma. This course will be led completely in Spanish. A tablet and General Educational Development (GED) study materials are free for eligible participants. Registration is required.
Ruth Wakefield & The History of the Chocolate Chip Cookie, Thursday, March 10, 5 p.m., Teaching Kitchen. In honor of Women’s History Month, participants will bake cookies to take home as they learn about Ruth Wakefield, who is credited with inventing the chocolate chip cookie. Registration is required.
Music Appreciation, Thursday, March 10, 6 p.m., Willard & Pat Walker Community Room. Visiting artist Matt Magerkurth will teach techniques for gaining a deeper understanding of music. Registration is required.
NWAAT Presents Casablanca, Saturday, March 12, 2 p.m., Willard & Pat Walker Community Room. The Northwest Arkansas Audio Theater (NWAAT) will present the audio play “Casablanca”, directed by Scott Anderson. This event will feature radio theater as performed during the 1940’s, complete with actors, music and sound effects.
Drag in Arkansas, Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m., Willard & Pat Walker Community Room. Mary Claire Durr will discuss Arkansas’s storied, although largely undocumented, history of community events featuring cross-dressing, or “dressing in drag,” as well as how Arkansan drag performers have professionalized the practice in the 21st century. Registration is required.
Microsoft Word for Work, Wednesday, March 16, 10 a.m., Ann Henry Board Room. A review of several Microsoft Word features used during the job search and in the workplace. Participants will learn how to create resumés and cover letters, as well as specialized features such as changing page layouts, inserting and designing tables, using spell check and more. Registration is required.
Author Talk: Dr. Farina King – Returning Home, Wednesday, March 16, 6 p.m., Willard & Pat Walker Community Room. Dr. Farina King will discuss her co-authored book, “Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School”, which looks at the lived experiences of Native American boarding school students through artwork, poems and other creative materials archived. Registration is required.
Community Vaccine Clinic, Saturday, March 19, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Event Center. In partnership with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese and Arkansas Department of Health, the library is hosting a community vaccine clinic. Free flu and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be available for anyone 5 years and older.
Idea to Income: Dedicated Development, Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m., Willard & Pat Walker Community Room. During this 2-hour program, attendees will participate in a guided presentation led by Sierra Polk of the Blackground Agency. The presentation will cover the five “early growth” phases for small businesses while reviewing practical steps to encourage ownership, longevity and community engagement. Lunch will be provided. Registration is required.
Conquering the Kitchen: Making Pâte à Choux for Perfect Éclairs, Saturday, March 19, 2 p.m., Teaching Kitchen. Chef Matt will teach the basics of pâte à choux, the delicate pastry dough used to make éclairs. Participants will take home completed éclairs. Registration is required.
Mountain Street Stage: Beth Stockdell, Sunday, March 20, 2 p.m., Event Center. Local harpist Beth Stockdell will play old favorites and songs from her new album “Bonnie at Morn”. To ensure the health and safety of all the performers and our music-loving community, attendance for this event will be capped at 200. It will also be available for viewing and replay via our FPL livestream page. Registration is required.
Candid Conversations – Getting the Help You Need with a VA Social Worker, Friday, March 25, 2 p.m., Ann Henry Board Room. The Veterans Healthcare System of the Ozarks invites all former military service members and their families to attend these one-on-one sessions with a VA social worker to get answers related to healthcare, benefits and more. Those interested will be seen on a walk-in basis for the duration of time allocated.
Sewing Class: Table Runners, Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m., Art & Movement Room. Local sewing instructors Dollie Resh and Jane Millette will teach participants how to make a table runner with a sewing machine. Some experience with a sewing machine is preferred, but not required. Registration is required.
Introduction to Genealogy, Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m., Willard & Pat Walker Community Room. In this class, participants will learn about HeritageQuest and the genealogy tools available at the library, and will tour the Grace Keith Genealogy collection. Registration is required.
Bilingual Zumba Classes, Thursdays, 6 p.m., Art & Movement Room. Únase a nosotros para este curso de seis semanas de clases de Zumba con la instructora Lety Vega. Se proporcionará instrucción bilingüe (español/inglés). Join in for this six-week course of Zumba classes with instructor Lety Vega. Bilingual (Spanish/English) instruction will be provided. Es necesario registrarse. / Registration is required.
Yoga @ FPL, Mondays, 6 p.m., Art & Movement Room. A team of volunteer yoga instructors will teach a variety of in-person yoga every week. Classes will also be livestreamed on our Facebook page. Registration is required.
Heartfulness Meditation, Sundays, 2 p.m., Art & Movement Room. Join instructors for a weekly heartfulness meditation session. According to Heartfulness.org, “Heartfulness is a simple, subtle practice of meditation that connects each of us with the light and love in our hearts.” Registration is required.
NONPROFIT AND SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER, Through the NPSB program, FPL provides courses related to grant funding opportunities, nonprofit basics, research marketing trends and entrepreneurship. It offers online and print resources, free workshops and more.
Virtual: Employee to Entrepreneur, Tuesday, March 1, 6 p.m., Zoom. Constance Hallinan Lagan explains the entrepreneurial philosophy and presents a realistic overview of what self-employment entails. The topics will include assets assessment, goal setting, and the initial steps in business formation. Registration is required.
Practice Your Pitch/Professional Headshots, Thursday, March 3, 9:30 a.m., Photography Studio, Podcasting Booth. Individuals from the business community have an opportunity to practice an “elevator pitch” to market their business or product, rehearse a speech or prepare for job interviews in a soundproof booth, and get a quality headshot for a website or social media profile. Registration is required.
Expanding Your Nonprofit Board, Thursday, March 17, 10 a.m., Willard & Pat Walker Community Room. Melanie Palmer of M. Palmer Consulting will discuss how adding new members to increase diversity and ideas can enhance a nonprofit board. The program will cover board recruiting and structure and the importance of communication in retaining an effective nonprofit board. Registration is required.
FPL BOOK CLUBS
Book clubs have resumed in-person meetings. Copies of selected books are available at the Reference Desk and through curbside pickup.
Books & Brews (Apple Blossom) | “American Spy” by Lauren Wilkinson, Wednesday, March 2, 6 p.m., Apple Blossom Brewing Company | 1550 E Zion Rd #1
Book Talk at Night | “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Monday, March 7, 6:30 p.m., Ann Henry Board Room
Books & Brews (El Sol) | “Nomadland” by Jessica Bruder, Tuesday, March 8, 6 p.m., El Sol Mexican Restaurant | 2630 E Citizens Dr #21
Crimes and Clues | “The Vapors” by David Hill, Thursday, March 10, 9:30 a.m., Ann Henry Board Room.
Book Talk | “The Beekeeper of Aleppo” by Christy Lefteri, Monday, March 14, 1 p.m., Ann Henry Board Room.
Sleuth or Consequences | “Hell in the Heartland” by Jax Miller, Tuesday, March 22, 6 p.m., First Security Bank Board Room
CENTER FOR INNOVATION
Classes are intended for patrons ages 15 and up unless noted differently.
Video Studio 101, Tuesday, March 8 & 22, 12 p.m., Video Production Studio. This class will equip patrons with the skills necessary to operate cameras and lights in the Center for Innovation’s video studio. Under the instruction of one of FPL’s skilled audio/visual technicians, participants will learn camera operation skills and concepts as well as lighting theory. Registration is required.
Video Studio 102, Wednesday, March 9 & 23, 12 p.m., Video Production Studio. Following the Video 101 class, Video 102 further expands patrons’ skills in the Center for Innovation’s video studio. FPL’s skilled audio/visual technicians will teach audio setup and operation, video switching, and basic on-set communication skills. Completion of this class will grant the patron permissions to use all designated equipment in the video studio. Completion of the Video 101 class is required BEFORE completing Video 102 – register separately. Registration is required.
Atari Punk Consoles – Building an Analog Circuit Synth, Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m., Art & Movement Room. In this workshop, participants will spend time exploring the history of synthesizers and electronic basics while assembling their very own Atari Punk Console to take home. Attendees will get hands-on experience connecting the circuits and soldering their own kits. Registration is required.
CFI Foundations: Podcasting Booth, Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m., Podcasting Booth, First Security Bank Board Room. In this class, participants will learn how to set up microphones, headphones, and how to record using the MixPre-3 multitrack field recorder. This is a basic course that will orient patrons to the equipment and tools available in the Center for Innovation. Registration is required.
CFI Foundations: Laser Cutter, Thursday, March 17, 5 p.m., Fabrication & Robotics Lab. This workshop will equip users with the basic skills required to design and develop an Adobe Illustrator file that can be printed on the laser cutting machine. Files created in this class can be printed during Open Maker Labs. Registration is required.
Video Studio 101 & 102 Combined, Sunday, March 20, 2p.m., Video Production Studio. Under the instruction of one of FPL’s skilled audio/visual technicians, participants will learn audio setup and operation, video switching, and basic on-set communication skills. Completion of this class will grant the patron permissions to use all designated equipment in the video studio. Registration is required.
CFI Foundations: 3D Design, Thursday, March 31, 5 p.m., Fabrication & Robotics Lab. In this class, participants will learn about TinkerCAD: a free, easy-to-use web application that will equip participants with the fundamentals of 3D design. Models made during this class can be printed on our 3D printers during Open Maker Labs or can be picked up at a later date. Registration is required.
Audio 101, March 1, 8, 10 & 15, 1 p.m., Location varies. This class will equip patrons with audio basics necessary to understand the equipment in the Center for Innovation’s Audio Recording Studio. Under the instruction of one of FPL’s skilled audio/visual technicians, participants will learn audio terms, equipment and measurements. Registration is required.
Audio 102, Friday, March 4 & 11, 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 9 & 16, 1 p.m., Audio Production Studio. After completing Audio 101, we invite you to join us for Audio 102 to finalize the orientation process. This second required class is hands-on and orients the user with our specific studio and a basic Pro Tools overview. Registration is required.
Fabrication Lab Orientation, Tuesday, March 1, 15 & 29, 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 8 & 22, 3 p.m.,, Fabrication & Robotics Lab. This workshop will equip patrons with the skills to safely operate the tools within the Fabrication Lab so that they can plan their first maker project. Completion of this orientation class will result in ongoing access to the Fabrication Lab during open maker hours. Registration is required.
Open Maker Lab, Multiple dates, check calendar for availability, Fabrication & Robotics Lab. Have you completed the Fabrication Lab Orientation and are ready to start making? This is your chance to start working on your project. Machines are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is required.
ON DISPLAY: Art Exhibitions
“Local Solace” by Tim Molesso, Monday, December 6–Friday, April 1, Lucky Day West Gallery.
“Familiar Faces” by Merlee Harrison, Saturday, December 11–Friday, April 1, Lucky Day East Gallery.
“Art in Fashion” by Cheryl Kellar, Thursday, January 27–Thursday, March 31, Event Center Hallway.
“The Office of Possible Projects” by Juliette Walker, Monday, February 21–Saturday, April 30, Level 400 Computer Lab.
After two years of cancelled courses due to the pandemic, senior students will once again have the chance to dive into popular classes like cooking, genealogy and art.
Many students have been asking when ElderCollege would be opening up and it’s been “stressful” managing their expectations, said Wanda Hook, chair of Chilliwack ElderCollege which offers lifelong learning to folks over the age of 50.
“They are very eager to get back to class,” she said.
Hook, along with past chair Marlene Dance and program committee member Nalla Steigvilas, are three of the volunteers who have pulled together what they’re calling a “soft launch” of ElderCollege.
The 2022 spring semester is a pared-down version of what they typically offer. There are 13 classes beginning in March, down from the average of 30-plus that they normally have.
“We’ve brought back probably our most popular classes that sold out the quickest (in the past) to pique interest,” Dance said.
In the mix are four classes on cooking with Red Seal chef Elizabeth Grimaldi (Vietnamese, Mexican, Iranian and Polynesian), knitting with Debbie Cote and easy walks with Ken Hurley.
From right, Wanda Hook, Marlene Dance and Nalla Steigvilas are gearing up for a new semester of ElderCollege after a two-year absence due to the pandemic. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack ElderCollege is a non-profit organization and it does not receive any grants. The school survives on registration fees and course fees, and the majority of the income goes to pay a co-ordinator which is a part-time, contracted position. They’ve been struggling financially over the past two years because, even though they haven’t hired a co-ordinator for the past two years, they still have expenses.
“Our objective is to try and make enough money from these 13 classes that we can then put it in the bank and hire a co-ordinator and go full bore in the fall,” Hook said.
When their doors closed in March 2020, they had 650 members. Now they’re at about 50 and are hoping that number will increase to help keep ElderCollege going.
They were cautious about when to start up again due to the pandemic, but they needed to bring in money and more membership.
“We didn’t want to open and launch and then get shut down again,” Steigvilas said. “We wanted to wait until it was a better picture.”
“We couldn’t afford to have a false start and have to refund everyone’s money,” Hook added.
But finally, the timing was right. On Feb. 23, registration opened for the spring 2022 semester.
On the first day, they had a phone call from one student who said, “well isn’t this serendipitous, I wondered when you guys would be back,” Hook said with a laugh.
If all the classes get filled up, there will be a little more than 100 folks registered which would give them the income they need to continue on.
For more info and to sign up for ElderCollege, and if you’re over the age of 50, go chilliwackeldercollege.ca, call 604-702-2611, or email [email protected] Classes begin as early as March 1. Annual membership fees are $15 and course fees range from $50 to $100. Most of the classes will be held at the University of the Fraser Valley Chilliwack campus. Masks must be worn at all times inside the campus and ElderCollege students will need to show proof of vaccination.
CHATHAM — The Chatham Public Library, 11 Woodbridge Ave., Chatham, announces the following programs and events during March. For information, visit chathampubliclibrary.org.
Houseplant Donation Drive March 1 through March 26. Do you have an extra indoor plant, a pretty pot or plant stand needing a new home? The library is collecting donations for its very first plant adopt/swap to be held on March 26. Contact Polly with any questions at [email protected].
Special Programs for Adults
Identifying Invasives Gardening Workshop 7 p.m. March 2 via Zoom. Advance registration required. Register at https://bit.ly/CPL_Invasives22 to receive the Zoom link. Whether you’re a green-thumb, a naturalist, or just want to know what on earth is taking over your backyard, come learn about common invasive plants in our region. The workshop will go over how to identify common species, how they grow and spread, and why they’re so detrimental to habitat. JJ Käthe has worked as a field technician for a few invasives management groups, including the Lower Hudson PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management), CRISP (Catskill Region Invasive Species Partnership), and Invasive Plant Control Inc. She is currently pursuing her master’s at UAlbany where she is researching the invasive Spotted Lanternfly and working with DEC’s Harmful Algal Blooms program. Email questions for JJ in advance to [email protected]
Monday Book Club on Zoom. March 7 at 7 p.m. – Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer; April 4 at 7 p.m. – Red Island House by Andrea Lee. Email the library at [email protected] if you’re interested in joining this monthly Zoom meet up. Copies of each month’s title are available to checkout from the library’s circulation desk one month ahead of each meeting.
Chair Yoga 4 p.m. Tuesdays March 8 through April 12 via Zoom. Chair yoga is open to anyone who would like to support a healthy body and mind the only requirement is a chair. To sign up and receive the Zoom link, register at bit.ly/CPLChairYoga22.
Food for Thought Reading and Discussion Group: The Third Plate by Dan Barber 6:30-8:30 p.m. March 14. Advance Registration is required at https://bit.ly/CPL_RnD22. Scholar Karen Schoemer will lead a reading/discussion series on the Serious Side of Food. The group convenes at the library on the second Monday of each month to explore an aspect of our culture that is often taken for granted. Food provides both nourishment and pleasure yet each meal has its own broader implications for our personal health and well-being and global environmental and political landscapes. Working with histories, novels, and journalism, this series exposes some of the issues that lie on our plates. In the event that pandemic conditions worsen, this group may move online to Zoom.
March 14: The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber. April 11: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan. May 9: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle. June 13: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.
Columbia-Greene Workforce NY Outreach Appointments 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 15. Columbia-Greene Workforce NY Consultant Ellen Sullivan will be visiting the library to share information about Workforce NY’s employment training and career counseling resources. Sign up for a one on one consultation with Columbia-Greene Workforce NY at 518-697-6510.
First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture in the New World (A New York Historical Society Lecture) 6 p.m. March 16. This captivating story—explored in the New-York Historical Society’s exhibition The First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture in the New World features archival documents, maps, ritual objects, rare portraits, and the 16th-century diary — lost for 80 years — of a Mexican Jewish man persecuted for his faith. To register and receive the Zoom link to attend, visit bit.ly/CCLA_NYHS.
Adult Craft Night – Hack that Painting 6-7:30 p.m. March 21. Choose one of the winter themed paintings, donated by Berkshire Paint and Sip, and make it into something different. Do you see spring flowers, a summer beach or outer space? Be creative, the possibilities are endless! This program will be held in person at the library and space is limited. Please register in advance at https://bit.ly/CPL_AdultCraftNight.
Houseplant Adopt/Swap noon-2 p.m. March 26. Have a houseplant? Share a houseplant! Need a houseplant? Take a houseplant! Stop by the library’s first ever houseplant adopt/swap event and bring home some new friends to brighten up your indoor garden.
Narcan Training with the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties 5 p.m. March 28. Advance registration required at https://www.signupgenius.com. Learn how to save a life at this free Naloxone (Narcan) training offered by the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties. Each participant will receive an Opioid Overdose Prevention Training and a free take home Narcan® nasal kit. Space is limited for this indoor program at the library. Masks and advance registration are required to attend. For more information email: [email protected] or call 518-751-8001.
Intro to Google Tools: Get Organized with Google Calendar 1 p.m. March 29. This monthly program series is designed to help participants gain basic computer skills and access free online tools designed by Google. The interactive workshops will be held indoors at the library. Space is limited and masks are required for all program participants. Advance registration is required at bit.ly/CPL_ComputerBasics. Note a gmail account is required to participate in the March – July workshops. Please contact the library at [email protected] or 518-392-3666 for assistance setting up a gmail account ahead of this workshop if you don’t have one already.
Get Organized with Google Calendar March 29; Create and Edit Documents with Google Docs April 26; Create and Edit Spreadsheets with Google Sheets May 31; Create and Edit Visual Presentations with Google Slides June 28; Create and Edit Questionnaires and Surveys with Google Forms July 26.
Ongoing Programs for Adults
Mah Jongg Club 10:30 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Wednesdays March 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30. Fully-vaccinated players are welcome to meet upstairs at the library every Monday and Wednesday. Masks are required inside the library building. Absolute beginners, please email the library at [email protected] for more information about scheduling a 90-minute lesson.
Chatham Roots Genealogy 3 p.m. March 3 via Zoom. Space for this online program is limited. For information and the Zoom link, please contact Michelle LeClair at [email protected].
Ukulele Jam 10:30 a.m. March 5, 12, 19, 26 at the Valatie Senior Center, 3302 Williams St., Valatie. Winter Ukulele Jams are open to all ages and led by Carmen Borgia. This program series is moving indoors to the Valatie Senior Center for the winter months. Ukes are still available to borrow from the library. Masks and social distancing are required. Email [email protected] for more information.
Memoir Group 10:30 a.m. March 8 and March 22 via Zoom. The Memoir Writers come from a wide range of life experience, and gather online to share and hone their work. Fiction and poetry writers are welcome, too. Contact the library for more information.
Health Care Navigator 1-4 p.m. March 10. Navigators assist individuals, families, small businesses and small business employees in Columbia and Greene Counties with shopping for, comparing, and enrolling in quality affordable health insurance, including Medicaid and Child Health Plus, through New York State of Health: the Official Health Plan Marketplace. Navigators can also assist with applying for financial assistance to help pay for coverage. Navigator services are free of charge. For more information, or to make an appointment, call 518-822-9600.
Tech Help with Lloyd the Geek (Online or In-Person) 2:45-5 p.m. March 15. Do you need help with your laptop, smartphone, tablet, or other device? Sign up for a one-on-one online session with tech expert Heather Lloyd. Call the library to schedule an in-person or virtual appointment, 518-392-3666.
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What We Are Reading Today: True Story by Danielle J. Lindemann
In True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us, sociologist and TV-lover Danielle J. Lindemann takes a long, hard look in the “funhouse mirror” of this genre.
Reality TV, Lindemann argues, “uniquely reflects our everyday experiences and social topography back to us,” said a review on goodreads.com.
Applying scholarly research—including studies of inequality, culture, and deviance—to specific shows, Lindemann layers sharp insights with social theory, humor, pop cultural references, and anecdotes from her own life to show us who we really are.
“By taking reality TV seriously, True Story argues, we can better understand key institutions — like families, schools, and prisons — and broad social constructs such as gender, race and class,” said the review.
“At once an entertaining chronicle of reality TV obsession and a pioneering work of sociology, True Story holds up a mirror to our society: the reflection may not always be pretty—but we can’t look away.”
True Story includes an index, a bibliography, endnotes, and information about the author in a section at the end of the book, and within the book.
Frederick Myers Perkins Jr. passed away peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 at his home in Houston. He was 93 years of age.
Frederick Perkins, 93, passed away Jan. 27. His wake will be on Friday, Feb. 4, and his funeral the next day.
He was born on Oct. 7, 1928, in Tallahassee, Florida, spending his childhood years in Jacksonville, Florida. He often spent his summers with his grandparents Thomas Eugene Perkins and Marie Myers Perkins (Papaa and Mamaa) at Perkins Beach, Florida.
It was at an early age that Papaa taught Fred how to fish and hunt small game in the coastal Florida area, outdoor passions that Fred kept up throughout his lifetime.
He graduated from Landon High School in Jacksonville in 1946 and was always eager to reconnect with alumni at reunions and other events. Immediately after graduation, at the age of 17, Fred joined the United States Army. He was ultimately stationed in Japan during the reconstruction period after the end of World War II.
Like so many of the Greatest Generation, after discharge from the military, Fred used the GI Bill of Rights to attend the University of Florida where he earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering with honors. He was also accepted into three academic honor societies: Sigma Tau, Gamma Epsilon, and Phi Kappa Phi. Additionally, Fred became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
It was through a blind date that a fraternity friend set up that Fred first met Rosemary Ross. Fred and Rosemary married on Dec. 21, 1950. They remained happily married until Rosemary’s passing in 2016, just weeks after their 65th wedding anniversary. Both Fred and Rosemary stayed active in University of Florida events throughout the decades and always watched their Gators play football.
In 1952, Fred began working for Humble Oil & Refining Company in the research department in Houston. After 10 years working in production research, he moved into a petroleum economist position at Standard Oil of New Jersey’s corporate headquarters in New York City.
During this first stint in New York, the family lived in Darien. Within a year, he was transferred back to Houston as an area engineer in Humble’s production headquarters.
In 1965, the family moved to New Orleans where Fred became division reservoir engineer. After a short time in New Orleans, in 1966 the family moved to Corpus Christi, where Fred was initially appointed assistant division manager, and then full division manager in 1968.
In 1970, the family moved to Sydney, Australia, where Fred was appointed deputy managing director of Esso Australia Ltd. The family moved back to Houston in 1972 when Fred was appointed natural gas general manager for Exxon Company, U.S.A.
In 1976, Fred became vice president of production for Exxon. In 1979, he was transferred back to corporate headquarters in New York and served in several roles, including deputy manager of production, vice president of gas and vice president of production.
During this second New York assignment, the family again lived in Darien. Fred’s final transfer was back to Houston in 1986 when he became president of Exxon Production Research Company. During his time in research, Fred received three U.S. patents.
Fred and Rosemary loved to travel and visited dozens of countries during their lifetimes. One specific purpose for their travels was genealogical research, which took them to Salt Lake City, various places on the U.S. East Coast, and even to the United Kingdom.
As a teenager, Rosemary began researching her family’s genealogy, which piqued Fred’s interest in researching his own family roots. After decades of thorough research, both Fred and Rosemary traced parts of their family history back over 400 years. Both also documented their family history in books.
In addition, Fred wrote an autobiography which his children will be publishing soon. If you are looking for the 1,000-page version of this obituary, please speak to one of his children to get a copy of Fred’s autobiography.
As travels abroad wound down in the 1980s, Fred bought a beach house close to home on Galveston Island. This nearby location allowed frequent weekend visits to relax, cook, fish and entertain friends and family.
Another interest shared by Fred and Rosemary was gardening. They were master gardeners and created gardens at several of their homes. Fred’s specialty was tomatoes, which he grew from seedlings.
He was very particular and recorded the weight of each tomato he harvested. From fig trees to apples trees, butternut squash to string beans, Fred and Rosemary’s gardens yielded delicious fruits and vegetables.
It was only natural, then, for gourmet cooking to emerge as another favorite hobby. Fred was an avid cook and was known for many culinary delights. He was probably best known for his salsa, jellies and jams, one of which won him an honorable mention at the Texas State Fair.
Another area of specialty was cakes, pies and desserts. He shared his desserts generously at the Buckingham senior living community, which earned him a mention in the Houston Chronicle.
Fred could prepare dishes across many genres including Cajun, Mexican, Italian and barbecue to name a few, always from scratch.
Of course, with all these edible masterpieces, the obvious next step was hosting dinner parties and celebrations, which must have numbered in the hundreds over the decades. It seemed as if Fred and Rosemary were always cleaning up from, or preparing to host the next party. They were honored to be able to host family reunions in Connecticut, Houston and Galveston over the years.
As house maintenance became more of a chore, Fred and Rosemary decided to move to the Buckingham senior living community in 2013. Always the patriots, they picked their second story, centrally located apartment based on the fact that it had an excellent view of the American Flag.
They remained active in a variety of groups. After Rosemary passed in 2016, Fred explored many new activities at the Buckingham to occupy his time. He took lessons in voice and participated in the Buckingham choir where he was featured in two solo performances.
He also joined an art group which exposed a true hidden talent. Despite having advanced macular degeneration, with assistance, Fred was able to complete over 50 acrylic paintings consisting primarily of landscapes and seascapes.
After suffering a stroke in 2017, the family hired caretakers to ensure he could maintain his active lifestyle in a healthy manner. His most recent caretakers included Yanique, Sabrina, Dionne, and Amanda.
The family wishes to extent their heartfelt gratitude to these caretakers for watching over Fred 24 hours a day to ensure he was happy and healthy in his final years. The family especially thanks his caretaker Amanda for assisting Fred with various activities from cooking to social activities at the Buckingham all the way to his final day.
Fred and Rosemary were active in numerous charities and organizations throughout the places they lived including Boy Scouts of America, The Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way, to name a few.
Frederick was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick Myers Perkins Sr. and Nancy Turner Perkins; and his sister, Marie Perkins Lloyd. He is further preceded in death by his wife, Rosemary Ross Perkins.
He is survived by his three children: Lucile Perkins Reed, wife of Tommy Reed of Star, Texas, Nancy Perkins of Austin County, Texas, and Matthew Myers Perkins and his wife Kim Aleah Perkins of The Woodlands. Fred is also survived by five grandchildren: Rosemary Reed Jones, Gene Frederick Reed, Travis Weldon Reed, Caroline Elizabeth Perkins and Jaxson Myers Perkins; five great-grandchildren: Sarah Lucile Jones, Tommy Alan Jones, Gene Frederick Reed, Robert Weldon Reed and Abigail Grace Reed.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday, the Feb. 4, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive, Houston.
A funeral service is to be conducted 10:30 a.m., Saturday, the Feb. 5, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons where Rev. Beth Case, Caring and Christian Formation Pastor, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, is to officiate.
At a later time, the family will gather for a private interment at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery.
— an obituary from Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors, where online condolences may be left.
Intrigued by her own family history, Sánchez’s calling as a historian came early on.
“I tried to ask as many questions as I could,” Sánchez said. “Once, I was asking my grandmother about her marriage. She went to the drawer and pulled out this tablet paper. And it was all folded up. That was her pedimento — a request for her hand in marriage.”
Sánchez was blown away by the significance of the artifact.
“I’m just there, like, ‘Wow. Wow,’” she remembered.
Originally from Mora, New Mexico, Sánchez’s grandparents farmed with hand-dug acequia irrigation infrastructure deep in the Sangre de Cristo mountains south of Taos.
Back then, this area was Mexican Territory. Sánchez’s great-grandfather was a justice of the peace, and his father was a lawyer — two occupations that were dissolved with the changes in citizenship and legal process that followed U.S. acquisition.
Sánchez was raised in Wyoming, where her family and many others, she said, migrated after World War II.
“The men could no longer find jobs in Mora,” said Sánchez, “so they moved to Wyoming with the railroad. We’d go back [to New Mexico] regularly.”
Sánchez decided to document regional culture when her mother-in-law presented her with a copy of an old acequia ledger from Huerfano County. The 1884-1912 ledger listed the names of water rights’ holders and marked their participation in the annual spring cleaning — all in Spanish.
“I gently touched those pages, and I just thought, Oh my gosh,” Sánchez recalls. “From that, I started researching those names.”
Among them, Sánchez uncovered residents forced into Indigenous enslavement. She researched their stories, eventually creating reports of genealogy which she passed on to descendants.
During this process, she learned that many Hispano families from Huerfano County came from the San Luis Valley, but pushed north during the influx of Westward Expansion — bringing their irrigation systems, customs, and language with them.
Beginning as early as the 1840s and 1850s, around 7,000 primarily Spanish and Mexican colonists settled across what is now the San Luis Valley.
Not long after, the Westward Expansion converged from the east. In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican American War and relinquished the area as a Territory of Mexico, creating in its stead the Territories of Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, and Nebraska. The San Luis Valley fell into New Mexican Territory.
Early settlers maintained small farm and ranch operations as land and mineral prospecting soon defined the region at large.
“When miners arrived in 1859, they kind of took over the place,” said Sánchez.
And the new residents wanted to create a new territory, so they drafted a square map — including the so-called “notch” of New Mexico Territory today known as the San Luis Valley.
Statehood was the ultimate goal, said Sánchez.
“In order to have statehood, you had to have 60,000 citizens in your territory,” she said. “Without the 7,000 Hispanos of ‘the notch,’ they would not have had that. They were intent on keeping this population within Colorado Territory for that sole interest.”
New Mexico Territorial delegate Miguel Antonio Otero, for whom Otero County is named, was sent to dissuade the north from enacting the change in border, citing “too many differences,” said Sánchez. “Tradition, language, religion… he told Congressional members that you shouldn’t take people away from what they know as their family.”
“Otero plead with Congress: ‘If you do this, they’re going to petition to be returned,’” Sánchez added.
Otero asked for a vote to be put to the people, but the request was refused.
As a result, 7,000 settlers in New Mexico Territory “woke up one morning in 1861 and they’re suddenly in Colorado Territory,” said Sánchez. “They’re now under an English-speaking governance, with English laws and new settlers are coming in.”
It was a cultural shock, according to Sánchez. Residents found themselves adjusting from a barter and trade economy to a cash economy.
“Now they had to pay taxes. How were they going to pay taxes when they didn’t have hard cash? They had to sell their property, their livestock. Some had to indenture their son or daughter,” she said.
The system of land ownership also shifted overnight.
“Some land deeds were rejected because they did not conform to 1861 Colorado real estate law,” said Sánchez. “Others were never approved.”
The use of common lands and other provisions critical to survival as deeded by the Mexican Land Grant system were denied in most cases, Sánchez said. Access and stewardship of publicly held resources like grazing, fishing, hunting, and firewood and timber collection did not carry over (with one rare exception).
The new border despaired natural watershed systems and wreaked havoc on ranching. If an animal were to stray unknowingly over the territorial line, residents were subject to impounding of livestock and daily fines they often could not pay, Sánchez said.
Weather and road conditions frequently kept representatives from making the arduous trip north over La Veta pass to attend Territorial legislatures.
And, accustomed to a bilingual legislature, southern Colorado residents had another newfound barrier: language.
“In New Mexico Territory, there was a budget for translating laws from English into Spanish,” said Sánchez. “Colorado had none of that.”
Colorado Territorial Council representative Celestino Dominguez petitioned the Treasury, asking for federal monies to publish laws in Spanish. The response from the Treasury was that “these settlers were not U.S. citizens,” said Sánchez. “They were told instead they needed to learn English.”
This “began a loss of language used in the area for 400 years,” said Sánchez. “It’s painful. We have a right to our language and our traditions.”
“There’s disparity,” Sánchez noted. “By the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, these residents are U.S. citizens, able to vote; and they did vote in the first territorial election in 1861,” she said. “But then they’re called ‘Mexican’ and told to learn English.”
The Colorado Territory existed from 1861 until statehood in 1876. But by 1862— just one year after being absorbed into Colorado Territory — the people of the San Luis Valley “notch” had issued a campaign of pleas and petitions to be returned to New Mexico.
A New Mexico newspaper called for secession of “the notch,” writing that Congress “needed to restore the part that was unjustly dismembered from New Mexico Territory,” said Sánchez. “The newspaper said this should never have been done.”
“And they almost did it in 1864 — but the Congressional session ended,” said Sánchez. “By the next session, they were busy taking care of the end of the Civil War and reconstruction.”
By then, the allure of gold and mineral resources had fully captured the Territorial economy. The endless Valley floor was ripe for the Homestead Act of 1862, and Hispano and Mexicano settlers were next to be displaced.
Sánchez said advertisements from the East purported “cheap Mexican land for sale,” and some land grabs occurred within pre-established agricultural communities.
But this was far from all that was happening in the region.
“Colorado was first Ute country, and we have to remember that. And we should pay tribute to that,” Sánchez said, recognizing that many generations of families and cultures were already displaced before any settlement occurred.
Native Americans were subject to removal, violent interactions, and enforcement of the overriding laws and regulations. New diseases emerged carried by miners and settlers. Buffalo and wildlife stock diminished due to population growth, Sánchez said, creating famine. A rapid deterioration of subsistence also occurred. Indigenous peoples’ access to a regional traditional lifestyle was phased out in part by reliance on rations supplied by Territorial Indian Agencies. Access to these rations was often indiscriminate and inconsistent, Sánchez’s research revealed.
“And the types of rations that they’re receiving, you know, they’re moldy when they get here from Denver,” she said. “Then, if they didn’t get their rations, they still needed food. Where were they going to go? They’d go to the settlers. They would make raids on the sheep or raids on the crops,” Sánchez said. “There’s a lot of loss there, for everyone.”
“A military district moves in that’s trying to protect the settlers and minors,” said Sánchez. “Then you have the United States Army battling in the Civil War. Then there are the Indian Wars going around. Everybody was hurting.”
Sánchez added that the Hispano settlers felt that the military was there to watch them, to make sure that there wasn’t another uprising like the Taos Revolt.
In 1862, instances of “secret meetings” held by Hispanos to protest taxes were reported to officials by an Anglo merchant, said Sánchez.
Newspapers reported that “the ‘Mexicans’ were ‘planning an insurrection,’’ Sánchez said. During her research, Sánchez unearthed records of the merchant meeting with a local Indian agent to receive advice about what to do in the case of an insurrection.
“This idea of an insurrection blows up more and more and more,” Sánchez said. “At this time, a Hispano Territorial representative by the name of Francisco Gallegos is found dead on the Conejos Plaza with a rope around his neck. The newspaper doesn’t say anything more.”
In fact, any time a non-Anglo was killed or hung, they were identified only by perceived ethnicity — “not their name,” Sánchez said. “It was a real sad state of affairs.”
The battle for belonging never really came to an end, Sánchez notes, with legislative debate on the issue taking place throughout the 1860s.
In 1870, legislation was introduced in the New Mexico Territory to annex Colorado’s Conejos and Costilla Counties back to New Mexico, but the issue fizzled.
To this day, the loss is felt, said Gaby Aragon, a former Town of San Luis Council Member whose family roots go back eight generations in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.
“When this section of the state in the San Luis Valley was severed from New Mexico, there was an entire history, culture and way of life that was lost, spinning us into an identity crisis,” Aragon said.
It’s a sentiment she said is frequently expressed in her community.
Aragon’s extended family still uses the barter system to trade things like sheep, seeds, and fruit with northern New Mexico residents. There remains a disconnect to the rest of Colorado because of the geographic and cultural isolation, Aragon said, noting it can feel like the only time people seem to pay attention “is when someone is after our land and our water.”
“The voices of southern Colorado do struggle to maintain their voice legislatively,” she said. “In many ways, we are the forgotten voices.”
“Without a doubt, there’s a rural-urban divide,” said State Sen. Cleave Simpson (R-Alamosa). “The San Luis Valley has always felt a little bit left out. Though in a lot of cases, it’s a ‘leave us alone’ approach, as well,” he observed.
Simpson said he wasn’t familiar with historic attempts to return the southern part of the state back to New Mexico.
“As an Anglo-American, it’s probably hard for me to see that divide if it still exists, but I don’t doubt that it probably does,” Simpson said.
A fourth-generation farmer and rancher from Alamosa, Simpson shared that his wife’s family, like so many others, once migrated north from New Mexico to the San Luis Valley.
Across the border, former Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Redmond said that when he was elected in 1997, there was a lot to be learned about the relationships between northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Because he was from Illinois, “There was a learning curve. We didn’t have land grants on the South Side of Chicago,” he said.
Redmond discovered everything from the economy to watersheds to genealogy spilled across state lines — and his research made a direct correlation between lost land grants and material poverty.
“Those are some of the realities that are still at play on both sides of that line,” he said.
Education may be the strongest ally.
Last summer, Sen. Simpson teamed up with Colorado Competitive Council, an offshoot of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce that arranges for legislators to tour each other’s districts.
“I got to put 10 legislators and about 30 lobbyists on a bus and drive them from Denver to Alamosa,” said Simpson. “Some of them had never been here. They were amazed it’s this far. Then, I took them to San Luis. Everyone was just awed at the natural beauty and at the connection people have with the land in the area,” he said.
Growing up in Alamosa, Simpson said he would cringe watching Denver news when the weather would refer to Colorado Springs as Southern Colorado.
“Once you get south of Pueblo, you get a lot of history that a lot of people in Colorado just don’t know about,” said Marisa Zamudio, a 2021 California Polytechnic state University graduate with family roots in the San Luis Valley and northern New Mexico.
Sánchez agreed that regional curriculum tends to skip this history.
“You often don’t learn this information until you get to college-level studies,” she said. “And that’s unfortunate. We always ask, ‘How do we engage more minority students in education?’ You do it by teaching them what they are familiar with. Children need to be motivated by their own stories.”
“It’s important that people know their own histories, and know them accurately,” agreed Zamudio, whose work researching the contemporary regional effects of settler-colonialism served as the foundation of her thesis. “A lot of people don’t have access to this information.”
“This isn’t just a southern Colorado story; It’s a Colorado story,” said Eric Carpio, Director of the Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center. “This history impacts everything, even 160-plus years later.”
“The defining moments in southern Colorado history, from the Maestas desegregation case, to the ongoing struggle for access to La Sierra, carry many of the same themes — themes of resistance, preservation, and resilience,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that even contemporary issues like the threat of water being pumped out of the Valley, or decisions about Congressional redistricting, are steeped in events of the past.”
“People in southern Colorado have had to fight, figuratively and sometimes literally, in order to be acknowledged,” he said, “as well as to preserve their land, water, language, and way of life.”
Robert Ruybalid, known as “El Mogoté,” of the small village of Mogoté in Conejos County, created the Forgotten Southern Colorado Facebook group as a means of sharing this forgotten history.
“I never intended to perpetuate the memories,” Ruybalid said, “but now it’s my mission.”
He was inspired after joining the “Forgotten New Mexico” Facebook group, which he said wasn’t necessarily inclusive of material from across the state line — despite the cultural relevance.
“They told me to start my own group,” he said. “So, I winged it.”
A robust online community soon formed into a full-fledged anthropological self-study, with nearly 23,000 local, regional, and once-so national contributors posting family photos, genealogy, memories, recipes, and definitions of words from the hyper-local dialect — borne of Spanish, Arabic, and Nahuatl.
Group members routinely learn they are related through photo threads, and members enjoy heartfelt recollections of everything from local traditions to bygone businesses — keeping southern Colorado at the forefront of collective memory.
In the description for the group, Ruybalid makes sure to acknowledge — New Mexico photos are allowed.
Kate Perdoni is a multimedia journalist for Rocky Mountain PBS. Reach them at [email protected] or on Instagram @kateyslvls.
As a genealogy buff, I’ve been fortunate to inherit many documents from both sides of my family. This week I had reason to pull out my paternal grandfather’s death certificate, dated March 29, 1968.
He was an MIT-educated engineer who worked for Uniroyal Chemical Co. in Connecticut. I wonder if his profession and death, at 46 years old, are related. But my grandmother — “Grammy” to the grandkids — would not have any mention of that.
“They were good to us,” she emphatically stated for decades about the company.
My grandparents were engaged on Valentine’s Day in 1947. My Grammy, Marion, was betrothed to another but fell hard when she was introduced to my grandfather, Robert. I have photos taken during their brief courtship.
They had a happy and fun marriage. But upon my grandfather’s death, entertaining in their home came to an end — no more bridge or golf with the ladies, and the piano never played a tune again; it was only tapped on by curious grandchildren in later years.
My grandmother didn’t remarry and was widowed longer than she had known her husband. In fact, her one-on-one time with him was quite brief before my father, Bob, came along one year into their marriage, quickly followed by my uncle Dick.
It’s a funny thing, coming along after someone’s passing. I had no sense of my grandfather, other than the black-and-white photograph of him side by side with a photograph of my grandmother in another era of her life. The Grammy I knew was not even a shadow of her younger self, perhaps altered by the grief of losing her husband so young.
I did not know her as a wife. My dad rarely spoke of his father; nor did she. And I was too young to know I should have asked more before she passed.
My main source of information came later in life from my uncle Dick. The year my father passed from melanoma, at age 59, my uncle and his wife invested in land in New Mexico, where they’d eventually live after my uncle retired from a decadeslong career in civil engineering that included the Three Mile Island cleanup and assessing Manhattan’s tunnels in the aftermath of 9/11.
In the years leading up to their move, they would travel out to rural Pie Town from New Jersey for their annual homeowners association meeting at the Top of The World development west of town. It’s about as rural as one can get without giving up a pie shop, located a few miles from the Continental Divide and blanketed with stars in the high desert night.
This was a place that felt so off the grid you could disappear from society and no one would question your arrival.
In retirement, you’d need to be well-matched to share this kind of solitude. And my aunt and uncle were. They made every effort to visit me in Santa Fe on each trip out and after they settled. My family also made the 3½-hour journey several times, impressing people that we had relatives in Pie Town.
Dick could be himself in Pie Town; the opposite persona of his intense career where he was a giant in his field. He was a Carhartt-clad, suspender-wearing firecracker who had a custom leather holster for his chewing tobacco, specially made as a gift from his wife, and a glass of Johnny Walker at the ready.
He wasn’t subtle or politically correct and, had they stayed back East, our connection would have been stunted.
We had little in common outside our last names. But subconsciously, I was investing energy in a man who knew my father the longest, perhaps transferring a love that hadn’t finished growing because of my father’s shortened life.
And because he knew some stories — like childhoods spent on the cape; the time he and my dad raced one another from a Mediterranean island to England in a Porsche and a motorbike; the car accident that left my dad with a scar on his chin that I never saw because he had a beard.
Last week, on my birthday, my uncle Dick passed away. His children contacted me to confirm some details for the death certificate. They needed the spelling of our Grammy’s maiden name, the French-Canadian Lefevre, sometimes spelled Lefebvre.
I dug out the old family records I keep in two bins underneath my bed, which include all the certificates marking the start and end of a life and the newspaper announcement of my grandparents’ Valentine’s Day engagement.
Uncle Dick’s passing has left me with a looming sense of finality. An entire family has passed, and it is as if a door is closed and padlocked.
My father was a tight-lipped man, so hearing of his wild escapades from my uncle, long after my father’s passing, kept him alive for me as a young man I never knew, as is often the case with our parents. We sometimes lose sight of the fact that they were individuals rich with story and adventure before they were partnered and parenting.
I say that I never knew my Grammy in love, but perhaps I did. I think she was so in love that it was too painful for her to resume one fragment of her identity she shared with her beloved Robert after he was ripped from her life.
It’s a reminder, that in this week dedicated to St. Valentine, to hold an awareness that everyone is capable of giving and receiving love and likely has, even if we can’t see it.
For me and likely my grandmother, in our loved one’s passings, we grew to love them more.
Uncle Dick’s burial will take place next week, on my son’s birthday, on a hill with a view in Pie Town.
We will seize the moment to celebrate and mourn over the stories that touch our hearts.
Bizia Greene is an etiquette expert and owns the Etiquette School of Santa Fe. Share your comments and conundrums at [email protected] or
Three decades ago, four teenage girls were brutally murdered in an I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt! shop in Austin, Texas. The horrific crime has haunted their families, the city, and the investigators who chased every lead in the case to a dead end. Could new information finally help solve the case?
“I can see them, I can still see the inside of that place,” John Jones, the first investigator on the case, tells “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty. “That stuff’s … indelibly burned in my mind.”
The story starts on December 6, 1991, when Eliza Thomas, Sarah and Jennifer Harbison and Amy Ayers were tied up and shot. The yogurt shop was then set on fire. For decades, investigators worked to find suspects. There were eventually arrests and even convictions. But those convictions were overturned, leaving the case unsolved today.
“There is a kind of torture that continues by the fact that it’s unsolved and it’s ongoing,” says Sonora Thomas, who was 13 when her sister Eliza was killed.
“It’s always there,” says Jones.
There may be some positive news, however. A small sample of male DNA was found on one of the victims. With DNA research advancing, investigators hope there will be a match that solves the case.
“Do you believe that there is right now, some evidence that could lead to the killers?” Moriarty asks Texas defense attorney Joe James Sawyer.
“Yes,” Sawyer says.
“Is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?” Jones asks.
THE SEARCH FOR ANSWERS
It’s been 30 years since John Jones began the painstaking search for the killers of four teenage girls in an Austin, Texas, yogurt shop.
He has long since retired from the Austin Police Department and moved out of Texas. But copies of some of the case files moved with him.
Erin Moriarty [with Jones in his home office]: What is all of this here?
John Jones: These are my notes. … Oh, that’s the big book…this one is really from day 1 … hypnosis, polygraph, confessions.
Erin Moriarty: (picks up coffee mug) You know, I notice this sitting here.
John Jones: Yeah.
Erin Moriarty (reads coffee mug): “We will not forget.” You haven’t.
John Jones: Nope. I can’t.
The images of December 6, 1991, remain all too vivid.
John Jones: I can definitely still see it.
It started with that call from dispatch to go to a scene of a fire, that would turn into something far worse:
JOHN JONES: What do you’ll got out there? I’m en route … airport 35.
DISPATCH: We’ve got a fire …
JOHN JONES (1991 on radio): OK. I’m copying the fire part, but you cut out on the first part of that though.
DISPATCH: … apparently a robbery and homicide. There’s, uh, three fatalities.
JOHN JONES: That’s 10-4, we’re en route (turns on siren).
John Jones: And then about halfway out there, they call again on the radio and said we found a fourth body.
A local TV news crew happened to be filming Jones on a ride along that night.
JOHN JONES (on radio): What place of business is this at?
DISPATCH: It’s the I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt.
JOHN JONES: OK.
John Jones: The fire department had just knocked down the fire. … there was still a lot of water in there … a lot of smoke still. … it was all muted grays, blacks there was no color in there with the exception of the girls.
The girls were quickly identified. Two had been working at the shop, closing up that night: Eliza Thomas and Jennifer Harbison were both 17 years old. Jennifer’s 15-year-old sister, Sarah, and their friend, 13-year-old Amy Ayers, had met them there to head home.
The four girls had been gagged, tied up with their own clothing, and shot in the head. Investigators would learn at least one of the victims had been sexually assaulted. The yogurt shop had also been set on fire, destroying potential evidence.
John Jones: There was smoke and soot on every surface, kind of made fingerprinting kind of difficult.
This was a crime like none Austin had seen before. Jones knew he needed help, and from the scene, contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, The FBI, and Texas Department of Public Safety.
John Jones: As soon as we knew what type of guns we were looking for, that information went out nationwide.
Gunshot wounds showed that two different types of guns were used, leading investigators to believe there were at least two killers on the loose.
Erin Moriarty: What were the two guns?
John Jones: .380 and a .22. … And we recovered all of the rounds.
The weapons, though, were not found, and a task force worked to come up with potential suspects.
John Jones: They were from all spectrums. I mean, we looked at everybody from family members to drifters.
And while police tracked down leads, the families and the City of Austin grieved.
The Harbison family lost their only children: daughters Jennifer, a hard-working high school senior, and Sarah, who was enjoying sports and clubs as a high school freshman. Their mother, Barbara, spoke with “48 Hours” in 1992.
Barbara Harbison: My life was focused around them from here to eternity. Someone took eternity away from me.
Bob Ayers is the father of the youngest victim, Amy, a country girl with a love for animals.
Bob Ayers: I lost my daughter. I lost my first dance. … I won’t see her graduate. I won’t see her become a veterinarian. … She was a Daddy’s girl.
Sonora Thomas, 13 years old when her only sibling, Eliza, was murdered, had a hard time dealing with the loss of the sister she looked up to.
Sonora Thomas: I remember the shock … I remember fantasizing for days that my sister had somehow escaped and run away and … she was going to come back … And so that’s what I was kind of holding onto.
Her parents struggled as well.
Sonora Thomas: My family never talked about my sister after she died.
Erin Moriarty: Never?
Sonora Thomas:No. It’s too, it’s too painful.
Sonora did as best she could, picking up some pieces of her sister’s life. Eliza, an animal lover, had a pig she planned to enter in livestock show. Just a few months after the murders, Sonora took over those duties.
While Sonora may have seemed to be coping, the reality, she says, was far different.
Erin Moriarty: You had to grow up quickly.
Sonora Thomas: Very quickly … I would say I fell apart under that pressure.
John Jones: We knew they were hurting because, you know, we were hurting too.
Jones, a parent himself, felt the families’ grief. He promised to do all he could to help them.
John Jones: We told them what we could. And … I assured them that we would keep them apprised as to everything that was happening, and we did.
Jones also made a pledge to the families involving the shirt he wore on the night of the murders.
John Jones: I kind of made a promise to them … that the next time they saw me with that green and white shirt on that that was a signal to them that, you know, we knew who did it.
And Jones seemed assured they would find the killers.
John Jones: We stayed in constant contact with the behavioral science unit at the FBI in Quantico … they said that I should, as the face of the investigation, I should project an air of confidence … that would cause the bad guy to shiver in his boots. … So look in the camera and be confident.
And, when we followed him working the case in 1992, he did just that.
JOHN JONES: Let me just say this, whoever you are out there, you are going to be mine one of these days….
But trying to figure that out was daunting.
John Jones (at police station in 1992): 342 people that have been listed as suspects, but we’re looking at pages and pages of suspects here.
One of those early suspects was a teenager named Maurice Pierce. He was arrested eight days after the murders at a mall near the yogurt shop, carrying a .22 caliber gun, the type used in the murders.
John Jones: The .22s were unmatchable.
Erin Moriarty: So, you can’t say it wasn’t his gun? But there was no way to match it.
John Jones: No.
Erin Moriarty: But there was no way to match it.
John Jones: — to prove that it was his gun. He gave a statement, matter of fact, I took his statement. And he implicated three other boys.
Jones says Maurice Pierce claimed he was driving a getaway car and that three acquaintances, Forrest Welborn, Michael Scott and Robert Springsteen, were involved in the murders. But Pierce’s story began to fall apart.
John Jones: It started to crater when we wired him up to go talk to Forest. And we were listening in on the wire, and it was pretty obvious Forest didn’t know what Maurice was talking about.
And when Welborn, Scott and Springsteen were brought in for questioning, they too denied any involvement. It was decided there was not enough evidence to charge them and the search for other suspects continued.
Two months after the yogurt shop murders, with no viable suspects, police were chasing leads — no matter where it took them.
The task force became aware of a counter-culture type group of local residents known to be into the supernatural.
DET. MIKE HUCKABAY [at roundtable, 1992]: They’re into vampires, the occult, graveyard rites. … They go out and dance and take pictures on tombstones.
And investigators began to hear that this group might be connected to something far more serious.
John Jones (2021): The — the tips were that they were talking about the murders.
Erin Moriarty: Talking about the yogurtshop murders.
John Jones: The yogurt shop murders, yes.
There was one woman in particular whose name kept coming up in connection with these tips. The task force planned a raid on her home, hoping to see if any evidence might be found there.
John Jones: It was creepy in there.
John Jones: But as it turns out, a lot of that stuff was rat bones and theatrical parts. But … it was a good lead. … Till we finally figured out that, uh, they’re just living a make-believe life (shaking his head).
The raid may have been a bust, but it wasn’t long before the task force had its eyes on another person of interest.A police sketch shows a man that multiple eyewitnesses told police they saw sitting in a car outside the yogurt shop on the night of the murders.
John Jones: And it was somebody we really wanted to talk to. … So, we put it out there.
And the response they got came from an unexpected source.
John Jones: A couple of other investigators from the Sex Crimes Unit came up and go … “We have a sketch that looks just like that.”
Threeweeks before the yogurt shop murders, a young woman in Austin had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted. Police had released a sketch of three men wanted in connection with that crime.One of those suspects bore a striking resemblance to that man witnesses reported sitting in a car outside the yogurt shop.
John Jones: You know, I just kind of went zip when I saw the — the composite.
A tip came in that the men wanted in the kidnapping and sexual assault case had fled to Mexico. Two were caught and arrested; one who resembled the person of interest in the yogurt shop sketch. The development made national news.
John Jones: When they got caught in Mexico, we went down there … to interview them. Jones’ team questioned the men. And so, too, did the Mexican authorities.
John Jones: But the Mexican government … announced to the whole world that … they confessed, and they were going to try them for the murders down there.
Erin Moriarty: They confessed to the yogurt shop murders?
John Jones: Yes, they did.
But Jones learned those confessions had details that didn’t match the crime scene. Even the caliber of guns they claimed to use was wrong.
John Jones: There were too many inconsistencies in the … confession.
So, Jones’ team reinterviewed the men, and he says this time they recanted just about everything. It made Jones and the other investigators wonder if those confessions were coerced by the Mexican authorities. The once promising lead fell apart .
John Jones: (exhales) It was depressing.
Over the following years, there would be other confessions, ones that were willingly given.
John Jones: You know, we faced six confessions.
Erin Moriarty: Six people who confessed?
John Jones: Yeah. Written.
Erin Moriarty: That confessed to this crime?
John Jones: Yes, they did.
Erin Moriarty: And they didn’tdo it?
In 1994, after nearly three years of leading the investigation, John Jones was moved out of the homicide division. He says it was a mutual decision. Austin Police wanted fresh eyes working the case, and Jones felt it was time to move on. Other detectives took over and, as time passed, the victims’ families were left wondering why no one had been arrested. Amy Ayers’ mother Pam spoke to “48 Hours” in 1996.
Pam Ayers [fighting back tears]: They’re probably out there leading a life as normal as they’ve ever had. And ours is never going to be the same.
That same year, Eliza Thomas’ mom moved away from Austin … and the painful reminders.
Maria Thomas (1996): Running into people who were constantly asking how the case was going was very hard on me, and especially my daughter Sonora.
Sonora’s life had taken a downward spiral.
Sonora Thomas: In my high school years, things really deteriorated. … Drugs, using alcohol, being hospitalized, going to a boarding school for, you know, disturbed teenagers, things like that.
The case seemed stalled, until October 1999.
RADIO NEWS REPORT: Some breaking news — Austin police have arrested four men in connection with the yogurt shop murders of 1991.
There were finally arrests, but would it answer the question on the billboard that had been haunting Austin for nearly a decade?
NEWS REPORT: After nearly eight years, Austinites are getting some answers in the case of the yogurt shop murders…
MAYOR KIRK WATSON (at 1999 press conference): I want to start off by thanking y’all for joining us here today. … For almost eight years, we’ve all waited to hear the words that our police department is close to a point of solving a crime that has haunted our very souls. … Today, we finally get to hear those words.
When four men were arrested in the fall of 1999 for the yogurt shop murders, relief was felt citywide.
MAYOR KIRK WATSON (at press conference): Sarah, Jennifer, Amy, Eliza, we did not forget.
The girls’ families struggled to take it all in.
Sonora Thomas: There had been so many false leads for such a long time. It was hard to know how to think about it and how to feel about it.
But there were finally names and faces to blame: Maurice Pierce, Forrest Welborn, Michael Scott and Robert Springsteen. To the task force, they were familiar names and faces. They were the same young men that John Jones and his investigators questioned just eight days after the murders and ultimately released for lack of evidence.
John Jones: I was confident and remain confident to this day that we got as far with them as we could then. But that doesn’t mean that … there wasn’t something developed later that would cause them to actually go out and arrest them. So, I was going, “yes, good job.” … I was ready to dig out the hideous green and white shirt.
But before that shirt could come out of the closet—the one he promised the girls’ families he would wear when the case was solved — Jones wanted to know more about what led to the arrests.
Joe James Sawyer: There was no physical evidence. Nothing.
Joe James Sawyer was appointed as Robert Springsteen’s attorney.
Erin Moriarty: What made them go back and charge these guys?
Joe James Sawyer: Because the new officers, when they reopened the cold case, convinced themselves that “we let them slip through our fingers. We had to have had the murderers in the beginning.” In part, they decided that because they had nothing else.
There was no new physical evidence suddenly tying any of the four men to the crime, but what police did have were two newly obtained confessions— one from Michael Scott and another from Sawyer’s own client, Robert Springsteen. Michael Scott’s confession came first. He was questioned over four days:
OFFICER (1999 interrogation): Come on Michael, you’re doing good. Tell us. Let’s do this today. Let’s do it.
MICHAEL SCOTT: I remember seeing girls. … I remember one girl screaming, terrified.
Scott told investigators that he and the others only intended a simple robbery. He said they cased the yogurt shop earlier that day. And then, after dark, he said, they came back armed with two guns.
MICHAEL SCOTT (interrogation): I hear the gun go off. I only pulled the trigger once…. I hear another gun go off.
Investigators claimed that Springsteen later corroborated much of what Scott said. But after intense questioning, he went further.
OFFICER (interrogation): You f——g know if you f——g raped her, just say it.
ROBERT SPRINGSTEEN: I stuck my d— in her p—- and I raped her.
Springsteen told them he shot one girl and raped her.
Joe James Sawyer: He was so tired of this. He’d already been questioned. He’d already been through that mill. He thought, you know what? I’ll tell you any damn thing you want.
Sawyer maintains his client is innocent and says the confession was coerced. In 2009, Robert Springsteen explained to “48 Hours” why he would admit to doing something so horrible—something he says he didn’t do.
Robert Springsteen: I was berated and berated and berated by the police officers. Until they obtained what it was they wanted to hear, they were not going to allow me to leave. And I basically— they broke me down.
Erin Moriarty: Let me just ask you, did you have anything to do—
Robert Springsteen: No. I did not.
Erin Moriarty: — with the murders at the yogurt shop?
Robert Springsteen: No. Never.
Even though Joe James Sawyer didn’t have Michael Scott as his client, he says he has serious concerns about his confession, too.
OFFICER (INTERROGATION): Is that the gun you shot somebody with, Mike? Is that the gun you walked up behind somebody with and shot in the head?
Joe James Sawyer: I frankly couldn’t believe it. … They terrorized him. And he was afraid to say no.
Forrest Welborn denied having anything to do with the murders, but police were convinced he was the lookout that night and Michael Scott placed him at the scene. Erin Moriarty spoke to Welborn in 1999 in jail shortly after his arrest.
Erin Moriarty: Were you there that night?
Forrest Welborn: No.
Erin Moriarty: Were you there as a lookout?
Forrest Welborn: No. I’m innocent.
Erin Moriarty: You had nothing to do with this?
Forrest Welborn: Nothing at all.
Welborn had been questioned multiple times by investigators over the years, and he never wavered. He, like the others, first came on police radar when, in 1991, just days after the murders, Maurice Pierce had been caught with that .22 caliber gun at the mall near the yogurt shop. Pierce told the detectives back then that he had given the handgun to Welborn and that it had been used in the yogurt shop murders.
Erin Moriarty: Why would he say that?
Forrest Welborn: I don’t know.
Welborn has always maintained his innocence despite pressure from the police.
Forrest Welborn: They would get right in my face and, you know, tell me everything I said was a lie.
Remember, false confessions in this case were nothing new. Jones said that six written false confessions were obtained when he was in charge. So, when he learned that the two confessions were all the new investigators seemed to have, it gave him pause.
John Jones: I go, well, maybe I shouldn’t get that shirt out just yet.
It wasn’t long before the case against the men began crumbling. Charges against Forrest Welborn were dismissed after two grand juries failed to indict him. And later on, charges were dropped against Maurice Pierce for lack of evidence. Everything fell apart except the cases against Michael Scott and Robert Springsteen. And with Scott and Springsteen’s confessions, the victims’ families felt prosecutors had a strong case.
Barbara Ayres-Wilson (outside courthouse, 2010): These young men have been implicated and they have confessed. And they can withdraw it, but the truth is, they actually were there, and they actually did the murders.
A DNA BREAKTHROUGH?
In 2001, nearly 10 years after the murders of Eliza Thomas, Amy Ayers and Sarah and Jennifer Harbison, the yogurt shop murder trials began. Both defendants — Robert Springsteen and Michael Scott — faced the death penalty.
Joe James Sawyer: The only thing that ever tied Robert or Mike Scott to that crime scene were their confessions.
Confessions that both defendants said were coerced. The two were tried separately. Springsteen’s trial was first. Neither of the men would testify against one another. So instead, prosecutors used their confessions against one another, reading parts of the confessions to the juries. Springsteen’s lawyer, Joe James Sawyer, was frustrated that he couldn’t cross-examine Scott.
Joe James Sawyer: I thought the trial was massively unfair to my client and that it was being done systematically and with deliberation.
The trial lasted three weeks. The jury deliberated for 13 hours and then, reached a verdict.
JURY FOREPERSON: We the jury find the defendant Robert Springsteen IV guilty of the offense of capital murder …
Guilty. Springsteen was condemned to death row.
In 2002, Michael Scott went on trial. He was convicted as well. He was sentenced to life in prison. But the case didn’t end there. Fifteen years after the murders, came a shocking turn of events.
NEWS REPORT: In a 5-4 decision, the court behind me said that Michael Scott’s constitutional rights were violated during his trial and therefore should get a new one.
Both Scott and Springsteen’s convictions were overturned on constitutional grounds. The Sixth Amendment gives defendants the right to confront accusers — and remember, in Scott and Springsteen’s trials, their confessions were used against one another, but they weren’t allowed to question each other in court.
Joe James Sawyer: And the relief … the relief was incredible.
But that relief for the defendants came as a devastating blow to the victims’ families. We later spoke to Eliza Thomas’ mother, Maria, about that moment.
Maria Thomas: Every time I hear those words, “that their rights were violated,” I just feel like I’m going to go insane. … Their rights are violated. Our girls were murdered.
Sonora Thomas: It ruins your sense of fairness. It ruins your sense of — that we live in a just world.
Even though their convictions were overturned, Scott and Springsteen were not released. A new district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, was determined to retry them. In an effort to find more evidence, her office had ordered DNA tests on vaginal swabs taken from the victims at the time of the murders. It’s called Y-STR testing — and was fairly new in 2009 when “48 Hours” spoke with D.A. Lehmberg.
Rosemary Lehmberg: This technology searches for male DNA only
A partial male DNA profile was obtained from one of the victims believed to have been sexually assaulted. And no one expected what it would reveal.
Erin Moriarty: Does that DNA match any of the four young men who were originally accused and two of them who’ve been convicted?
Rosemary Lehmberg: It does not.
The DNA did not match any of the original four suspects, including Scott and Springsteen. And that’s significant because Springsteen, in that confession he said was coerced, told investigators he raped one the girls.
CeCe Moore is a DNA expert and genetic genealogist whom we asked about the case and the role of Y-STR DNA in criminal cases.
CeCe Moore: It is a tool that can eliminate almost everyone … It should eliminate everybody but the suspect.
Erin Moriarty: If their Y-STR does not match, they did not contribute that DNA?
CeCe Moore: Because of … where that DNA was found, yes, in this case, it’s very important.
The district attorney was focused on finding the source of that DNA — she wondered if Springsteen and Scott had another partner.
Rosemary Lehmberg: I remain really confident that … both Springsteen and Scott were responsible for killing those four girls.
But in 2009, with no matches on that DNA, Lehmberg dropped charges against Springsteen and Scott. After nearly 10 years behind bars, they were released — but not exonerated, leaving open the possibility they could be retried at a later time.
ROSEMARY LEHMBERG (at press conference): This was a difficult decision and one I’d rather not have to make.
The question remained though: whose DNA was it?
Amber Farrelly: I know who it is.
Joe James Sawyer: The killer’s.
Erin Moriarty: You’re convinced that that —
Amber Farrelly: That is a certain truth.
Amber Farrelly was part of both Scott and Springsteen’s defense teams. She came up with a theory that the mystery DNA might belong instead to two never-identified men who witnesses reported seeing sitting in the yogurt shop just before it closed.
Amber Farrelly: Those two men were described wearing fatigued-colored jackets. …They were very slouched over, whispering, like they were — it was a very close conversation in a booth.
Officials tried to track down those two men as well as the source of the DNA. And then, in 2017, an Austin police investigator searched a public online DNA database to see if he could get a hit. And, unbelievably, he did.
Michael McCaul: I thought, my God, we actually have a chance, a shot to solve this crime after so many years.
WHO KILLED THESE GIRLS?
Congressman Michael McCaul: I really thought this was it – I really thought we had a chance to solve it.
United States Congressman Michael McCaul, like so many others from Austin, hoped that the recently uncovered DNA in the Yogurt Shop murder case might finally bring answers to the victims’ families.
Congressman Michael McCaul: We’ll never forget that tragic day. It’s stained in my memory.
Twenty-five years after the murders, the Austin Police Department went searching for a match to the Y-STR DNA that had been found on the yogurt shop victim believed to have been sexually assaulted. And, in 2017, they got a break. On a public DNA database used for population studies, investigators thought they had found a match.
Congressman Michael McCaul: I’ve seen DNA … prove homicide cases. … the DNA evidence is really the key here.
But that sample from the crime scene was not a complete DNA profile, it was just Y-STR — the male portion of DNA. And, it was not a very detailed sample, having just 16 markers.
CeCe Moore: Sixteen STR’s is not a very powerful match … there could be millions of people with that same profile … So, in genetic genealogy … We usually use 67 or 111 markers, or maybe even more.
Erin Moriarty: But isn’t it a place to start?
CeCe Moore: It is … It’s not absolute, but if there’s nothing else to work with, it is certainly something to look into.
Still, it seemed to be the most promising lead in years. But there was a problem: the seemingly matching sample on the public database had been submitted anonymously by the FBI. It belonged to a federally convicted offender, arrestee, or detainee, but had no name attached to it. When Austin authorities tried to get a name, the FBI would not provide it, citing privacy laws.
Congressman Michael McCaul: There are some restrictions on privacy … And so, it gets into some very sort of, dicey issues.
Frustrated, officials reached out to Congressman McCaul for help.
Congressman Michael McCaul: And so, I pressed the FBI very hard.
Finally, in early 2020, the FBI agreed to work with the Austin Police Department to see if further testing could be done on that Y-STR DNA from the crime scene.
Congressman Michael McCaul: I was very excited about it. The idea that we could bring this case to closure for the families and bring those responsible to justice.
More advanced testing came up with additional markers: 25 instead of the original 16. But as so often happened in this case, what seemed so promising, turned into disappointment.
Some of the additional markers did not match the FBI sample. In other words, what seemed to be a match, was not. In a letter to Congressman McCaul, the FBI explained the new results “conclusively exclude the male donor of the FBI’s sample … as such, the FBI Y-STR profile is not an investigative lead.”
Congressman Michael McCaul: And that was the greatest disappointment because we really thought we had it.
Erin Moriarty: If it didn’t match that individual, doesn’t it still mean there’s somebody out there — this DNA belongs to somebody, right?
Congressman Michael McCaul: It does. It does. And that’s why we’re not going to rest till we find the match.
Erin Moriarty: How important then, is this DNA profile that exists … to solving this case?
Congressman Michael McCaul:I mean, it’s everything.
With DNA research advancing so quickly, there is real hope that one day, that sample of DNA obtained 30 years ago, may finally solve this case. Still, it will not erase the pain or loss of lives.
Sonora Thomas: Every year that goes by, I get farther and farther away from my sister, yeah. And I worry about losing memories.
Sonora Thomas struggled for years with panic attacks and physical pain, until, with the help of therapy, she realized it was connected to the murder of her sister Eliza. With a unique understanding of what trauma victims experience, Sonora wanted to help others like her, and became a therapist.
Sonora Thomas: There’s so many moments, you know, when your heart is open, you know, you’re joyful. But there’s also this loss that’s always accompanying your life.
Sonora found it helpful to look for ways to remember Eliza.
Sonora Thomas: When we got married, we had a flower and an empty chair at our ceremony, and my sister was mentioned.
Compounding Sonora’s pain, her mother died in 2015. Maria Thomas passed away with so many unresolved questions about the murder of her daughter.
Sonora Thomas: There is a kind of torture that continues by the fact that it’s unsolved and it’s ongoing.
John Jones (shaking his head): It’s always there.
John Jones is still haunted by the fact that the case is unsolved, and by what he saw that gruesome night. He has suffered from PTSD through the years.
John Jones: I had completely shut down to where all my energy was directed at the case.
Erin Moriarty: It took a toll on you, didn’t it John, even 30 years afterwards?
John Jones: Well, yeah. It would on anybody, I think — not as much as the families, you understand.
Erin Moriarty: I know.
John Jones: Whatever pain I’m having pales in comparison to what they’re going through.
These days, Jones finds solace singing in his church choir.
John Jones: I can relax when I’m in church.
Erin Moriarty: Leave the world behind? Leave outside?
John Jones: No, I know it’s just past the door.
And when he’s in that outside world, the families of Amy Ayers, Jennifer and Sarah Harbison and Eliza Thomas, are never far from his thoughts.
John Jones: I feel bad for them. That it’s still not solved.
But Jones has hope. He has kept that shirt he wore the night of the murders — the shirt he promised to never wear until the case was solved.
Erin Moriarty: Thirty years later, it’s still sitting in there.
John Jones: It’s still sitting there. It is.
And sometime soon, John Jones looks forward to wearing it again.
John Jones: I just hope one of these days we can put this thing to bed, for the families’ sake.
If you have information about the Yogurt Shop Murders, call 512-472-TIPS.
Produced by Ruth Chenetz, Stephanie Slifer and Anthony Venditti. Michael McHugh is the producer-editor. Marlon Disla and Michelle Harris are the editors. Patti Aronofsky is the senior producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.
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