Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Life So Far!

Thats me on the left with Franklin Golden, pastor of the Durham Presbyterian Church.





I was born on June 8, 1949 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.  Several years later, my parents, Major and Mrs. Albert A. Stone, Jr., moved the family back to Virginia, where I grew up and graduated from Jefferson Sr. High School.  While in high school, I served as president of the National Honor Society, and co-editor of the school’s literary magazine.  I took my love of writing and literature to Mary Washington College, and later to Virginia Commonwealth University, where I received a Bachelor’s in English.  After working for a few years at a crisis center, I pursued my interest in psychology with a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling, then spent the next twelve years as an alcoholism counselor and case manager.



I'm an avid traveler, having made four trips to Europe, and living in Alaska for six years, where my son, Christopher, was born.  I often refer to Alaska as the most adventurous chapter in my life.  While there, I became immersed in Native culture and art, working for four years with the Sitka Native Education Program.  I've always considered Alaska my “spiritual home.”



My interest in education and young people inspired me to complete a Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Tennessee, which I refer to as “the greatest education possible.”  I became the first professional reference librarian at Brewton-Parker College in Georgia and developed many friendships there among the students and faculty.



I carried my passions for books and people to North Carolina, where I worked for four years at Edgecombe County Memorial Library in Tarboro.  There, I provided reference services and adult programming for the community.  The most memorable library program I arranged occurred shortly after Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and the “500 Year Flood” that followed.  I invited “Hero of the planet,” Rick Dove, of New Bern for a dynamic presentation about the causes of the flood and its after-effects.  I also helped initiate annual showings of student artwork, as well as exhibits from collectors in the community.  While working at the library, I created a weekly news column in the Daily Southerner newspaper called Books and Beyond, that covered book reviews and technology trends in the library.


I took my talents for grant writing, library renovation, and collection development to school libraries in North Carolina.  In 2001, I received a fellowship from the Library of Congress to join 49 other educators in the study of the Library’s American Memory Collection.  I was one of only two representatives from North Carolina.  While in D. C., I made a public appeal for support of school libraries, and met with John Hope Franklin, the distinguished scholar and author.  At this point, my interests in oral history, slave narratives, veterans’ stories, literacy, and American history blossomed.  After 20 years as an educator and librarian I'm working part-time, pursuing my passions for teaching, writing, poetry, children’s literature, and art.



Of all my interesting careers, I consider being a mother the most important and endearing aspect of her life.  My son, Chris, now in the Boston area, enriches my life immeasurably.



A lifelong Presbyterian, I'm also a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Honor Society, the Nasher Museum in Durham, P.E.N. America, the NC Writers' Network, and an avid supporter of the American Dance Festival, and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham.


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