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Legacies Project Oral History: Herb David

Mon, 09/28/2020 - 10:05am

Herb David was an Ann Arbor luthier.  Originally a research psychologist, David was taught how to make and repair stringed instruments by his mentor, Sarkis "Sam" Varjebedian.  At the age of 30, David started Herb David Guitar Studio, a shop where he produced, repaired, and sold guitars, dulcimers, harps, banjos, and many other types of stringed instruments.  He passed away on July 25, 2020.

Herb David was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2016 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Lois Zimmerman

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:51am

Lois (née Milton) Zimmerman was born in 1923 near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated from high school in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and earned a BA degree from Lesley College, a teacher training college in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During her time in Cambridge, she met her husband who was training to become a chaplain in the army. Their oldest child Donnie died of polio at age seven; they had four other children. She was a kindergarten teacher for many years, including during the era of school desegregation in Indianapolis, Indiana. She also enjoyed leading outdoor educational programming.

Lois Zimmerman was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Chuck Warpehoski

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:32am

Chuck Warpehoski was born in 1978 and graduated from Grinnell College with a BA in sociology. He worked in Washington D.C. for the Nicaragua Network and Latin America Solidarity Coalition before moving to Ann Arbor in 2003. He directed the Ann Arbor nonprofit organization Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ) for sixteen years, focusing on issues such as nuclear disarmament and affordable housing. He also served on the Ann Arbor City Council from 2012 to 2018. He and his wife Nancy Shore have two children. 

Chuck Warpehoski was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2015 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Sandra Wray-McAfee

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:26am

Sandra Wray-McAfee was born in Durham, North Carolina. Her father ran a taxicab business and was a talented brick mason and carpenter. Her mother taught elementary school. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan and went on to teach in the Mathematics and Statistics Department at the University of Michigan Dearborn for 21 years. She retired in 2008.

Sandra Wray-McAfee was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2016 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: William Hampton

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:25am

William Hampton was born in 1948 in Tyler, Texas, and his grandmother was the midwife. He remembers attending church revival picnics, the Texas Rose Festival, and the Juneteenth parade in his hometown. While attending college in Arlington, Texas, he was active in the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He went on to launch a Section 8 subsidized housing program in Arlington and in Ann Arbor, where he worked in the community development office. Mr. Hampton has been president of the Ann Arbor chapter of the NAACP since 2005.

William Hampton was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2015-16 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Wanda Capps

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:24am

Wanda Capps was born in 1926 in Chicago, Illinois to Polish immigrant parents. As a young woman, Capps worked as a bank clerk and saved money to go to Illinois College, where she met her husband. After stints in Nebraska, Alabama, and Detroit, they settled in Ann Arbor with their three children. Her husband worked in a pharmaceutical laboratory. The family enjoyed traveling and spent summers in Grand Traverse Bay. She enjoys quilting and volunteering in the library at Glacier Hills Senior Living Community.

Wanda Capps was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2008 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Victoria Loomis

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:23am

Victoria Suane Milton was born in 1933 and grew up in River Rouge, Michigan. Her mother was of French creole background from New Orleans. In 1938 her father, Samuel B. Milton, founded one of Michigan’s first Black-owned hospitals, Sidney A. Sumby Memorial Hospital. He was also the first Black Wayne County coroner. After getting her BA in social work from the University of Michigan in the 1950s, Victoria returned to work at Sumby Memorial Hospital in purchasing and housekeeping. She and her husband John Loomis had six children, including a set of triplets. She passed away in 2021.

Victoria Loomis was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2009-2010 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Titus McClary

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:22am

Titus W. McClary was born in 1937 and spent his childhood in Georgetown, South Carolina. After moving to Detroit, he attended Highland Park High School and worked at his uncle’s North End restaurant. During his time in the army in the early 1960s, he picketed a segregated theater and restaurant in Killeen, Texas. In 1965 he became the third Black police officer in Highland Park. McClary ran the juvenile division and helped found a Black officers’ organization. He served as mayor of Highland Park and remained a city council member until he passed away in 2017.

Titus McClary was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Thomas Overmire

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:21am

Thomas G. Overmire was born 1926 in Indianapolis, Indiana. His father was a banker and the family saw firsthand the difficulties caused by the Great Depression. He served in the army during World War II before getting his BA from Indiana University in Bloomington. Overmire’s evolving career included teaching high school biology, getting his PhD, serving as a college dean, working at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, and writing a biology textbook, The World of Biology (1986). He and his wife Joan have two sons, a daughter, and several grandchildren. He enjoys playing piano and bridge.

Thomas Overmire was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Shirley Northcross

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:21am

Shirley Northcross was born in 1936 and grew up near Dayton, Ohio. Her father ran the Miami View Golf Course, and she recalls visits from famous athletes like Joe Louis. She was the first Black student to graduate from Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio. After getting a degree in physical education from Michigan State University, Northcross started out a substitute teacher and a counselor for the Camp Fire Girls of America. She taught physical education at Northwestern High School in Detroit for over 30 years.

Shirley Northcross was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.