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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Celebrating the Contributions of Johnnie Owens

Most weekends in Old North St. Louis are filled with community-building events and activities.  This weekend was no different, with Friday night’s Cinema St. Louis screening of HomeGrown in the Old North Gallery, Saturday morning’s North City Farmers’ Market, and the community meeting Saturday afternoon to discuss future activities for the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.  Until recently, we could have counted on Johnnie Owens to have shown up at each of those events.  However, due to a difficult battle with cancer, Johnnie hasn’t been able to get out very much lately.  On Saturday morning, though, Johnnie did get out to the Hebert Community Garden, across the street from her home, for the unveiling of a new sign dedicating the garden to Johnnie, as a tribute to one of Old North’s most beloved residents and one of the neighborhood’s most reliable and reasonable leaders.

Alderwoman April Ford Griffin presented Johnnie (seated on the right, with her back to the camera) with a resolution for the Board of Aldermen.

With ONSLRG Board President Tino Ochoa looking on, Alderwoman April Ford Griffin presented Johnnie (seated on the right, with her back to the camera) with a resolution from the Board of Aldermen.

The sign is unveiled.

The sign is unveiled.

The 1900 block of Hebert is also known now as Johnnie E. Owens Street.

Another surpirse for Johnnie: the 1500 block of Hebert will also be known now as Johnnie E. Owens Street.

Johnnie's family celebrated the occasion with her.

Johnnie's family gathered around her to celebrate the occasion.

Neighbors and friends came out to show Johnnie how much she has meant to them.

Neighbors and friends came out to show Johnnie how much she has meant to them.

Among the neighbors who were responsible for the occasion were Carmella Kranz and Se'an Whiteside.

Among the neighbors who were responsible for the occasion were Carmella Kranz and Se'an Whiteside.

Old North's own metal artist Janet Sanders was responsible for creating the custom frame for the sign and welding it all together with the antique post donated by the Bratkowski family.

Old North's own metal artist Janet Sanders was responsible for creating the unique frame for the sign and welding it all onto the antique post donated by the Bratkowski family.

As testament to Johnnie's capacity to bring the community together, residents lingered to enjoy the garden and each other's company long after the ceremony.

As testament to Johnnie's capacity to bring the community together, residents lingered to enjoy the garden and each other's company long after the ceremony.

 

Thank you Johnnie for all you’ve done for Old North St. Louis, as a dedicated board member & officer of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group; as a tireless worker in and advocate for the Hebert Garden; as an outgoing and welcoming neighbor; and as a generous, thoughtful, and caring friend.

UPDATE: To see more photos from the dedication  visit the Old North St. Louis flickr site or just click HERE.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 29th, 2010 at 8:31 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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"Celebrating the Contributions of Johnnie Owens"

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WHAT'S NEW IN OLD NORTH

Welcome to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's blog. What's New in Old North chronicles the dramatic transformation under way in the neighborhood of Old North St. Louis. As a neighborhood just north of Downtown St. Louis, Old North is becoming a dynamic urban village of new and historic homes, a landmark eating establishment, beautiful community gardens, and a diverse, friendly, and engaged community.

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