Letters to the Editor—Jan. 16, 2014

A library story

On Jan. 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded.  On board was physicist Ronald E McNair. His brother, Carl McNair, tells the story about Ronald’ first trip to the library. “On a Saturday In 1959, when Ronald was 9 years old, he decided to take a mile walk to the public library, but not so public for black folks.   Ronald politely positioned himself in line to check out his books.  The librarian said, ‘This library is not for coloreds.’ He said, ‘Well I would like to check out these books.’ She says, ‘Young man if you don’t leave this library right now, I’m going to call the police.’  So he just propped himself up on the counter and sat there and said, ‘I’ll wait.’  So she called the police, and our mother.   Two burly police men come in and said, ‘Well, where is the disturbance?’  The librarian pointed to Ronald sitting up on the counter, and he says, ‘Ma’am what’s the problem?’   Our mother came in to the library hoping they were not going to put her child in jail. My mother asks the librarian, ‘What’s the problem?’ ‘Well he wanted to check out the books, and, you know, your son shouldn’t be down here.’ And the police officer said, ‘You know, why don’t you just give the kid the book?’   So, reluctantly, the librarian gave Ronald the books.”

In Lake City, S.C., the new library hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and closed all federal holidays.  Not only on that day could Ronald not be permitted in the library because he was black, but because the library was closed Saturdays. Ronald might not have fulfilled his dream.

Madison Valley Public Library is closed Saturday for school-age children.  If funding is the problem, then close one day of the week, or staff Saturdays with volunteers.  All school-age children need a library open for them when they can visit on Saturday.

Judith M Wiancko

Ennis, MT

Meals on Wheels accomplishes move

The Meals on Wheels program was established in Ennis as a non-profit corporation in 1985. The program has consistently provided meals to the seniors for many years. The transition to the new location at Madison Valley Manor is the next phase in providing senior services. The long-term goal is to have a Senior Center for operation of the Meals program. At that time, taking advantage of opportunities available from Southwest Montana Aging Services, the center would help provide more support for the seniors in the community.

Every change to a program is a big adjustment. The meals program was fortunate to have operated for so many years in the same way in the same place. The Meals board appreciates the years of support from the members of the town council. Their policy of allowing the Meals on Wheels program the use of the space it needed at the Town Hall free of charge, has greatly helped the program to operate efficiently. The board is grateful for the ongoing help from the Senior Advisory Council and the Civic Organization and individuals that have made contributions to the program. In addition we thank the people who have delivered meals at their own expense, the volunteers who have done the laundry, those who worked in the kitchen and those who worked the floor setting up and cleaning up. The long-term support and contributions from local residents, ranchers, the food bank, the Woman’s Club and the Lion’s Club are greatly appreciated.

The Meals on Wheels program extends a sincere thank you to Diane Keller, head cook, for her exceptional dedication, hard work and professional service that helped make the Meals program a success. The Meals program appreciates the seven years of dedicated help from Ernest Talkish, assistant cook.

The support from the Madison Valley Manor in welcoming Meals on Wheels means the program can continue to meet its obligation to the seniors, providing great tasting nutritious and well-balanced meals. The Manor has a first class commercial kitchen, a well-trained staff and a well-managed operation. In addition there is a bright and cheerful dining area in the Sun Room. The board feels fortunate that relocating has been accomplished so well with help of Darcel Cook, Candy Vincent and the staff at Madison Valley Manor.

Ennis Meals on Wheels Board Members

Shirley Story

Neil Kent

John Mason

Donna Crumley

Margie Mason

Memories wanted to share with family

The family of Addie Beth Stiles would like to thank everyone who turned out for Addie’s celebration. The evening was truly beautiful and a great tribute to her life. The family would like to ask for memories from people if they wish to share them. They will be compiled into a scrapbook for her children and grandchildren. Memories may be sent to PO Box 281 Virginia City, MT 59755.

Amber Mason

Virginia City

One Response to Letters to the Editor—Jan. 16, 2014

  1. Rebecca Barney says:

    Comment to Ennis Library story. 1/15/14; I agree with the writer, there is no reasonable explanation for the Ennis library to NOT BE OPEN on Saturdays. We fought hard to have it open on Saturdays to only reach a half day open then that was taken away from the citizens of the Madison Valley again. It is very reasonable to be closed one week day and open on Saturday. I applaud the writer of the letter indicating the story about Robert McNair, black kid unable to check out books because he was black. An excellent letter. Thanks for printing it.

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