Monday Mornings

Monday Mornings is a free program series for senior adults that runs weekly in the spring and fall months at the main library. Programs take place from 9:30-10:30 AM in the Sohier Room. Series content is designed for seniors, but all adults are welcome to attend. Light refreshments are available starting at 9 AM Please note: While signup is not required, space is limited. At any given program, attendance may need to be capped to ensure a safe and enjoyable program for all.

Printable Fall 2018 Schedule

Upcoming Programs:

September 10
Tricksters and the Marketing of Breakfast Cereals with Tom Greene, Northern Essex Community College
Did you ever wonder why so many breakfast cereals for kids are marketed by cartoon characters? And why breakfast cereals in particular so much more so than other kinds of foods? The answers to these questions may surprise you as Tom Greene, Professor of English at Northern Essex Community College, traces the interconnected threads of breakfast foods from their semi-mystical, religious origins, their mating with the trickster figure from depth psychology, to their ultimate arrival on your televisions and grocery store shelves, and what it all says about how Americans think about their food choices.

September 17
Tea: The First Wicked Weed with Dory Codington
In December 1767, the Town Meeting of Harvard, Massachusetts voted to discourage the sale and purchase of items as varied as tea, carriages and ready-made clothing. Material culture had increasingly made women’s lives easier, the rejection of it led to the Revolution, and most of the rhetoric centered on TEA, that wicked weed. Dory Codington is a local historian and novelist. As a Freedom Trail and Faneuil Hall Guide, she began to investigate the social changes that were necessary to embrace the higher notion of America’s break from Great Britain.

September 24
Local Indigenous History and Culture with Mel “FastHawk” Howarth
Come learn about the history and culture of the Indigenous local people from drummer/singer/spiritual leader, Mel “FastHawk” Howarth. Mel is English/Wampanoag on his father’s side and French/Mi’kmaq on his mother’s side. The discussion will include, but will not be limited to, the spiritual and historical aspects of Indian life and will dispel some common myths. Mel will bring First Nation artifacts, both old and new, from actual native craftspeople.

October 1
Pierre-Auguste Renoir: His Life and Art with Meg Dall
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in 1841 in Limoges, France. After years as a struggling artist, Renoir helped launch Impressionism which became the most beloved and sought after of all artistic styles. No history of art could be written without reference to its impact. Renoir was an artist who painted life not necessarily as it is, but rather as it should be. Couples waltzing in broad daylight, and gatherings evoking joy and happiness you can almost feel. In this illustrated presentation we will explore Renoir collections from the National Gallery, the Barnes Foundation, the Museum of Fine Art, Musee d’Orsay and the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.

October 8
Columbus Day—NO PROGRAM

October 15
Hollywood Scandals and the Rise of Classic Hollywood with Gordon Arnold, Montserrat College of Art
By the time the U.S. film industry moved to Hollywood in the 1910s, movies were already beloved by the American public. Yet, even as the nation began a long love affair with motion pictures, the film business was sometimes regarded with skepticism. Movies seemed real and powerful, and cultural leaders worried that they would lead to moral corruption. To make matters worse, in the early 1920s a series of scandals rocked the film industry and threatened its very survival. At this moment of crisis, Hollywood reacted and its response helped define American film for the next decades. Author and Montserrat College of Art professor Gordon Arnold discusses these events in a lively presentation about the scandals that nearly ruined Hollywood and how they paved the way for classic Hollywood.

October 22
Friends’ Fall Book Sale—NO PROGRAM

October 29
Ellis Square Virtual Walking Tour with Abby Battis, Historic Beverly
Sit back and relax while Abby Battis, the Associate Director for Collections at Historic Beverly, takes you on a virtual walking tour of Ellis Square. Find out about Gordon Ellis, learn about President Taft’s time on Cabot Street, and discover the details about the Paul Revere bell gone wrong at the First Parish church. This tour puts a twist on the walking tours that you know and love all from the comforts of your chair!

November 5
A Librarian Falls for Niagara Falls with Lisa Ryan
Lisa Ryan, Beverly Public Library’s Head of Reference, will discuss her travels down Niagara Parkway in Ontario earlier this year. Highlights include stunning photos and video, the history of the falls, fun Niagara tales, and travel ideas. An open discussion will follow for other travelers of Niagara Falls to share their stories.

November 12
Veterans Day—NO PROGRAM

November 19
The West Beach Mansions of the Gold Coast Era with Nancy Coffey
Join Beverly Farms historian Nancy Coffey for an illustrated lecture on the summer houses of West Beach. The program will include stories of the building of the mansions and of the people who lived in them during the period from the 1840s to World War II. You will hear stories of the wealthy, eccentric, talented and colorful residents as well as a great rum-running tale from the 1920s.

November 26
The Cocoanut Grove Fire with Bob Begin
In November 1942, Boston was feeling the effects of World War II. People wanted a break; if only for a few hours. Here in Boston, one of the most popular night spots was Cocoanut Grove. Dark, romantic and exotic, it was the perfect place to have fun and forget the woes of the world. It was packed beyond capacity on the night of November 28, 1942 and for 492 people, it was their last night alive. A fire broke out and spread panic and death throughout the entire gathering. What caused it? How did it spread? Who were the victims? Find out in this well-illustrated presentation by historian Bob Begin.

December 3
The Spirit of Christmas Past: Four Centuries of Christmas in New England with Ken Turino, Historic New England
This well-illustrated lecture traces the development of the celebration of Christmas from the time it was outlawed in 17th century New England through the beginning of the 21st century when all the trappings of a traditional Christmas were in place. For many, the celebration of Christmas today is the most important holiday of the year. But many of the customs we take for granted as part of the current holiday festivities and religious celebrations are actually a product of more recent history. We’ll look at how Christmas was transformed from a rowdy celebration to a family centered event. Among the topics discussed are how the Christmas tree became popular, halls were decked, and Santa Claus came to town.

December 10
Closing Holiday Concert with Joe Boccia
Beverly’s own Joe Boccia will present a repertoire of holiday music both traditional and modern, performed on his own synthesizer. Joe carefully composes each song’s arrangement by selecting from thousands of possible sound effects. Prepare to be delighted and moved by the variety of sounds and moods he creates. Happy Holidays and we’ll see you in 2019!

If you’d like to be added to the Monday Mornings email list, or have any questions, please contact the program director at Thanks to the Friends of the Beverly Public Library for sponsoring this series!