OLLI at Auburn Brown Bag Series
11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Pebble Hill, 101 S. Debardeleben Street, Auburn
Free and open to the public

Bob Stewart

January 17, 2024
White and Black and Rode All Over: Revelations and Rewards from a Journey into Family History
Bob Stewart

Curiosity about an inherited antebellum photographic portrait revealed an exploration of an American family history, from seafaring Rhode Island to slaveholding Louisiana, and finally to the Magic City of Birmingham. Along the way, research uncovered connections to a unique furniture form, a restored Southern landmark, a tragic episode from the Civil Rights era in Birmingham, and interracial family ties. It also raised important questions yet to be resolved: Was the family engaged in the slave trade? Did some ancestors hold abolitionist opinions even while holding enslaved people? How should the story be told? This presentation will touch on these discoveries and questions, demonstrating that family history research can be a rewarding extension to the genealogical work of compiling one’s family tree.

A native of Tuscaloosa, Bob Stewart served as Executive Director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation (now Alabama Humanities Alliance) from 1987 until retirement in 2012. Among the AHF’s many accomplishments under his leadership, Bob is especially proud of his collaboration with scholars, archivists, editors, and technical specialists at Auburn University to develop the online Encyclopedia of Alabama. He previously held professional positions at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, and Huntsville Museum of Art, and his resume includes numerous awards, publications, exhibitions, and grants. He holds a BA in English from Amherst College, an MA in American Studies from Boston University, and an MBA from Emory University. Since 2016 he and his wife, Lida—whose family history is the subject of his talk—have lived in Nashville.

Bob’s talk is offered under the auspices of the Alabama Historical Association. It includes a surprise ending directly related to Auburn, so attendees will be treated to a special reveal of local interest.

Carole Borowski

January 24, 2024
Cover Crops for the Home Garden: Making Your Dirt Happy
Carole Borowski

This presentation will be a brief introduction to the Master Gardener program. It will mainly focus on using plants in place of fertilizer, mulch, weed control, or any other soil additives to successfully grow anything you need or desire at a home garden.

Carole Borowski is a retired educator with a passion for plants. She and her husband moved to Auburn for the second time in 2016. They have two children-four total Auburn graduates in the family. Borowski became a certified Master Gardener in 2018.

January 31, 2024
How Voting Procedures Have Changed since 2020: For Good or Ill?
David Nordness and Larry Gerber

Nordness and Gerber will first present a summary of voting laws in the various states and how they changed before and after the 2020 election then present contrasting views on the wisdom of those changes

February 7, 2024
Dramatic Monologues:Fannie Lou Hamer
Roz Thomas

Roz Thomas is an educator and storyteller.

Man with white hair and beard standing next to a tiger mascot

February 14, 2024
Love, Lust, and Loneliness: Valentine Verse by OLLI Poets (Accompanied by Chocolate)
Ken Autrey

This program will feature a series of original poems by OLLI poets appropriate to Valentine’s Day. Also on the menu will be a variety of chocolate confections.

Ken Autrey, coordinator of this extravaganza, has taught the OLLI Poetry Writing class a number of times. He has worked for years to master the art of Valentine poetry, with moderate success.

Man with brown hair seated a a desk

February 21, 2024
Pandemics: What are they, and when will we see another?
Joseph Giambrone

A Pandemic is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region affecting a substantial number of individuals. Pandemics are complex and unpredictable events that can be caused by new infectious diseases or the emergence of existing ones in a novel and virulent form. The occurrence of a pandemic depends on numerous factors, including the interactions between humans, animals, and the environment, as well as the ability of a pathogen to spread rapidly and cause severe illness. While scientists and health organizations continuously monitor and study infectious diseases to prevent and mitigate their impact, it is impossible to predict with certainty when the next pandemic will happen. “Remember it is not if but when will we see the next pandemic”.

Dr. Joseph Giambrone is a Professor Emeritus in Auburn University’s Department of Poultry Science with a joint appointment in the Department of Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned a BS and MS in Animal Science from The University of Delaware and PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of Georgia.

A line of young people wearing neon colored glasses and holding drums

February 28, 2024
Live Life Loud
Huntsville Community Drumline

Huntsville Community Drumline (HCDL) was founded in 2010 by Angela Walker, a 30-year, veteran retired Huntsville City Schools Elementary teacher. Ms. Walker recognized the need for non-academic and non-sports-related affordable after-school youth programs that are structured, fun, exciting and with far reaching benefits. For more than a decade we have invested in more than 5000 youth and provided them with the opportunity to learn a craft that could lead to scholarships while providing a positive path for them to become contributing, productive members of our society.

In 2020 during the pandemic, we launched a new free percussion class called the “Gran Masters” (Yes, Gran not Grand) designed specifically for retirees and those ages 60 and older to help with socialization after being isolated and to improve brain function. The Gran Masters meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

In 2021 HCDL launched the Mix-masters: A free music and video production class where students in grades 5th-12th learn to mix, re-mix, master, sampling, sound design and catalog creation. Skills that equip them to meet the ever-changing technological demands right here in our city.

Our goals are to develop leadership skills; develop a sense of commitment; establish a positive mentoring relationship with youth through the arts; increase self-esteem and empowerment by providing opportunities to perform publicly throughout the community to large audiences; develop a sense of ownership and responsibility; and instill self-respect and respect of others through specialized training, teamwork activities and discipline. Drums are the tools we use.

The 5th-9th grade “Stickmasters”, our premier performing group, have provided entertainment for hundreds of events throughout north Alabama. They are invited to perform at anywhere from 40-50 community, cultural, athletic, and private events each year. They represent everything that’s RIGHT with today’s youth when given opportunities.

Last Updated: January 3, 2024