Monday, February 6, 2012
Throughout her life, Luxenberg’s mother, Beth, reveled in her status as an only child. Then, a few years before her death in 1999—and utterly out of the blue—she admitted to having a mentally and physically disabled younger sister named Annie, who died in 1972. Beth’s failing health precluded Luxenberg and his siblings from learning any more. After Beth’s passing, Luxenberg set out in search of answers. His dual roles as reporter and son proved both blessing and curse; the journalist dug furiously for facts, while the son wondered if long-buried secrets were best kept that way. His questions were many: What prompted Annie’s commitment, at age 21, to Eloise Hospital, southeastern Michigan’s sprawling psychiatric facility? Why was there next to no record of her early years? Most baffling of all, why did Beth, two years Annie’s senior, refuse for so long to acknowledge her sibling’s existence? Armed with superb investigative skills and relentless determination, Washington Post senior editor Luxenberg tracked down remaining family and friends and interviewed an exhaustive list of experts who might shed light on Annie’s plight. Part memoir, part mystery, part history of the mental-health movement, Annie’s Ghosts is a fascinating account of a life lived in the shadows and a family beset by despair.
Silk Scarf Painting
On Wednesday, December 9th the Local History Room presented the historic craft of painting on silk scarves given by Vivien Pollock. Silk painting is creating art on fabric with silk as the canvas. Silk painting can be traced back to the 2nd century AD in India when the 'wax resist' technique for embellishing silk was used. Silk painting in India reached its pinnacle of popularity during Moghul rule in the 17 - 19th centuries.
Celebrating the Holidays with the Dutch!
On Wednesday, December 2nd the Local History Room celebrated the holidays as the Dutch due in the Netherlands. Participants assisted with making dough for the Letterbanket cookies and they took home paper shoes filled with Dutch goodies.