Meeting someone who made history as part of desegregation

Do you remember those 4 brave, little, black kindergarten girls who were the first to attend a desegregated school? This is one of those girls, Leona Tate.

She went to kindergarten accompanied by US Marshalls. She said the first year and a half wasn’t bad. Her family never let her feel like they were afraid, the US Marshalls were nice and they were the only 3 kids in the school. Everyone else pulled their kids out because of fear they’d get hurt. She said the next school was tough. Kids broke a school bus seat on purpose and blamed her; they spit in her hair (she said that was the worst) and the white mothers harassed her. One day her mom told her to come out of school and walk past her like she didn’t know her. She did and when one of the white mothers harassed her, Leona’s mother chased the harassing mother down the street! She never had a problem with the mothers after that. I’m so honored to have met her and had a chance to chat with her. I’m also so impressed with her parents’ bravery and appreciate their willingness to put their family forward in making our country a better place for everyone.

Building a secret apartment in the mall

Eight artists built themselves a one room studio in the mall parking garage and kept it a secret for FOUR YEARS!  It’s one of those interesting crimes that makes you wonder how you could do it and not get caught.  (Unless you are homeless or want to make a statement, there’s probably no real reason to create a one room studio in a parking garage.) You can read more about it in the Rhode Island news: 1 room, no view.

Would you save 2500 kids?

I sit around and wonder what to do with my life.  What’s my purpose in life?  And then I read about someone like Irena Sendler.  This amazing woman saved the lives of 2500 children!  Can you imagine?  She helped 2500 Jewish children in Poland find homes with Catholic families so they would escape the concentration camp.  She herself was tortured but she didn’t give away any information about the children.

I’m sure she didn’t go out looking for ways to save the world but when the opportunity presented itself, she stepped up to the plate.  She saw a need and stepped in to help at great cost and expense to herself.

How do we make sure that if the opportunity presents itself to us, that we recognize it?  And how do we find these opportunities?  My first response is "well, we all won’t get the opportunity to save children from the Nazis" but then my next thought is "no, but there’s probably even bigger opportunities today." 

Irena Sendler is now 97 years old and her only regret is that she didn’t do more.