Bay Area roses are a sight to behold. Their abundant beauty rarely diminished by the hazard of thorns, falling petals a delicate reminder of past glory. In the midst of everything, taking a pause to be in awe at the sight and smell of a fresh bloom renews any kind of day. My favorite is the Joseph's Coat climber. I love its multicolored hues, its eager branches climbing toward the sun.
Do you have a favorite rose? Or renewal for your day?
As summer blooms begin to peak this month, roses of every size, shape and color remind me of the beauty and awesome power of people coming together to make change. They also remind me of something else -- the legacy of Rosa Shattuck.
Shortly after her husband Francis Kittredge Shattuck's accidental death in 1898, Rosa began fundraising for a permanent
public library in Berkeley. There were already a few attempts at reading rooms and subscription libraries, but Rosa wanted one that would be free and accessible for all in perpetuity.
To make it happen, Rosa struck a deal with philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. "You supply the cash, I'll donate the land with my rose garden," she bargained. Campaign letters from local children helped convince City leaders to ensure ongoing institutional support and by 1903 the first Central Library building was being built.