standing Westerly Library

If you’ve read any of my previous columns, you’ll already realize that I get most of my information from CBS This Morning or CBS Sunday Morning. Mo Rocco, a correspondent on those shows, has recently started a fabulous podcast called “Mobituaries.” Apparently, he has a “long love of obituaries,” which I can appreciate. When I got home delivery of the Sunday New York Times, the first place I would turn to was always the obituaries. There was something very moving about learning just a little bit about incredible people who had accomplished great things or who had simply been loved by family and friends.

“52 McGs: The best obituaries from legendary New York Times reporter Robert McG. Thomas Jr.” compiles some of Thomas’s most loved obituaries of the not-so-famous. It’s interesting to learn just a little bit about some of these people. Included in this volume is the inventor of kitty litter (as a cat-lover, I say thank you!) and a bouncer at a restaurant that was very hot in the fifties and sixties. Thomas said of the bouncer, Angelo Zuccotti, “He may have been a working stiff ... but he also saw his work as an art.”

I love documentaries, so I’m looking forward to watching a DVD the library owns called “Obit: An Inside Look at Life on the New York Times Obituaries Desk”. It is a documentary that looks at the editorial obituary writers who memorialize certain lives into the cultural memory. Going beyond the byline and into the minds of those chronicling life after death on the freshly inked front lines of history. It’s also an interesting exploration of who we choose to remember and why.

Did you ever have to write your own obituary for a school assignment? I vaguely recall having to do it although I cannot remember what I thought my life would be. It’s interesting to think about what you would want said about you after you’re gone. What would you want mentioned and what would you hope was omitted? Obituaries often bring to mind loss and sadness, but maybe we should look at them more as a celebration of someone’s life and the lives they touched.

Top-requested books

1. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

2. “Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty

3. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

4. “The Reckoning” by John Grisham

5. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

6. “Kingdom of the Blind” by Louise Penny

7. “Past Tense” by Lee Child

8. “Long Road to Mercy” by David Baldacci

9. “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean

10. “Run Away” by Harlan Coben

Top-requested movies

1. “A Star is Born”

2. “Bohemian Rhapsody”

3. “Green Book”

4. “The Wife”

5. “First Man”

6. “Crazy Rich Asians”

7. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

8. “The Old Man & the Gun”

9. “A Simple Favor”

10. “Mary Poppins Returns”

Top billing

For All Ages

MONDAY — 3:00-5:00 p.m., for teens, Smash Brothers Ultimate Tournament – you can bring your own controller—there will be prizes! 5:30-7:00 p.m., Conversation Class – for English Language Learners; 5:30-6:15 p.m., The Importance of Making a Will – senior estate planning officials from Washington Trust Wealth Management will speak about estate plans; 6-7:30 p.m., Adult S.A.G.A. meeting -- a discussion and support group for adults about LGBTQ+ stories and issues in books, movies, TV shows, and more.

TUESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Family storytime for all ages; 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen S.A.G.A. meeting -- a discussion and support group for teens 12-18 about LGBTQ+ stories and issues in books, movies, TV shows, and more; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Group! – a friendly knitting, crochet, needlework, and yarn craft club. Open to adults who have some experience with knitting; 6-7:45 p.m., Quilters Corner – all are welcome to this quilting club; 6-6:45 p.m., Meditation Group – all ages and experience levels are welcome!

WEDNESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for ages 1-3; 4:30-7:30 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens grades 7-12 interested in STEM and Robotics.

THURSDAY — 10-11:30 a.m., Conversation Class – A free conversation class for English Language Learners; 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for ages 3-5; 3:30-5 p.m., Teen Crafting: Beaded Jewelry – come make your own necklaces and bracelets (beads provided); 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required; 5:30-7 p.m. Foundations of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses Part 2 – this second part of a 3 week series is on “Web Presence Essentials for Small Business”; 6-7:30 p.m., Dementia Family Caregiver Support Group -- A trained former caregiver will be facilitating all group sessions. The groups will be a safe space to discuss the unique challenges of caregiving.

FRIDAY — 4-5:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics; 4-5:30 p.m., Facing Our History: A Teen-Led Interactive Discussion – Join us for Greene School senior Ella Culton’s service project and presentation-style discussion to learn, engage in constructive discussion, and better understand our communities; 4-5:30 p.m., Teen Advisory Board -- Help us shape the future of the Teen Space! We want to hear your ideas about the library and the world.

SATURDAY – 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Take your Kid to the Library Day! – Kids can get a free library tote bag, and make a library themed craft; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Tax Prep Help – no appointment needed, first come, first served; 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Adult Writers Workshop – A group-led prose writing workshop; 1-2:30 p.m., Dungeons and Dragons (Teen Led Program) – No prior experience with the game is necessary—registration is required.

Caroline Badowski is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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