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The Third Friday Book Club

A Condensed History of the Third Friday Book Club from 1954 to 2010, written by Mrs. James C. Robinson the former Elizabeth “Betty” Thornton, a member since 1977, provides a glimpse of the club’s activities and books reviewed from June 1954 to 2010. The history of the club dates back even further to around 1943, according the long time member Eleanor Yothers Fisher in an article published in the Orlando Sentinel on July 5, 2015..

Members mentioned in the Secrtary’s notes from 1954-1955 include Gracie Andersen, wife of Martin Andersen, publisher of the Orlando Sentinel; Grace Barr (widow of L. G. Barr) who was the Society columnist for the Orlando Daily newspapers; Emily Bridges, wife of E. S. Bridges; Adair Edwards, wife of Gaston Edwards; Elizabeth “Betty” Fawsett, wife of C. F. Fawsett, Jr.; Mildred Hill, wife of Coite W. Hill; Frances Irving, wife of Thomas T. Irving; Mary Keene, wife of R. D. Keene; Ruth Leedy, wife of Loomis C. Leedy with Leedy, Wheeler & Alleman; Ruth Maguire, wife of McCullogh Maguire; Adelaide McLeod, wife of L. B. McLeod; Mary Moss, wife of M. J. Moss, Jr.; Anna Smith, wife of F. Burton Smith; Ruth Gilbert Smith, wife of A. H. Smith; Edna Townes, wife of Andrew W. Townes, Margaret Piper, Mary Robinson, Mary Knapp, and Shirley Essington.

Meetings were, and still are, usually conducted at club members’ homes on the third Friday of the month. In 1954, the club met every month except August, but later met from October to May. Meetings sometimes included luncheons at the Orlando Country Club and outings like the April 15, 1983 visit to Cross Creek – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ homestead near Gainesville.

The history of the club can be found in the notebooks maintained by the club’s secretaries since June 1954, which sometimes provide little more than date, reviewer and hostess, and other times provide great details. One such notation pertaining to preparations for the Christmas party to be held on December 13, 1985, made me chuckle. The members were assigned or volunteered to procure specific types of food for the event. The Orlando Public Library’s former director Clara E. Wendel and her sister Edna Buckman, along with Edna Miller where in charge of the wine.

The meeting notes, recorded by the club’s Secretaries beginning in 1954, record members sharing their travel adventures and slides of faraway places like Mrs. Ruth Maguire’s May 18, 1972 talk on her African journey and Edith Beardall’s talk at the December 1960 meeting on her presentation at British Court. Other meetings featured guest speakers like Library Director Dorothy Field and authors like Don Whitehead who discussed his book A Story of the F.B.I. 

We see the march of time through something as simple as members’ telephone numbers. From GA 4-0123 to 424-0123 to 407-424-0123 and from the more touching changes in address. Like Mrs. Bert (Florence “Flo”) Neidig who begins at home on Nela Avenue, moves 16 years later to Westminster Towers on Lucerne Circle, and finally is mentioned in this 2010 notation: “Deceased: Flo Neidig 10/3/10. Memorial sent to Orlando Public Library.”

The brief notes carefully recorded by the club’s secretaries provide a mere glimpse into what was, and still is, the monthly meetings of a group of intelligent, thoughtful, well-read, well-traveled women who have enjoyed each other’s company and been positive forces in the life of their community.

Hat’s off to the Third Friday Book Club – may you read on forever! 

Secretary Notebooks:  1954-1979      –      1980-2013      –      2013 forward

Chronological Table of meetings, books reviewed, reviwers and hostesses.

Obituaries for many of the members can be found at EpochLegacies.org  Use FIND and type “:third friday” in quotes in the KEYWORD field.

Peruse the IMAGES and DOCUMENTS below.

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Clara Wendel Plaque
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Miss Mary Branham
Mary Branham was born and raised here.  She was a local teacher, historian, lecturer and social leader.
Clara Wendel - Albertson Public Library
Informational sheet on Clara Wendell and the Albertson Public Library.
Clara E. Wendel - Librarian
Photograph of Clara Wendel, second librarian/director of the Albertson Public Library.
50th Anniversary - Orlando Public Library - Clara Elizabeth Wendel
Clara Elizabeth Wendel photograph from the 50th Anniversary of the Orlando Public Library publication.
Jim Robinson and Betty Thornton - 1940 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook
Jim Robinson and Betty Thornton in their 1940 Orlando Senior School Yearbook - Most likely to succeed.
City's Oldest Book Club
The Third Friday Book Club was featured in the July 5, 2015 edition of the Florida Flashback in the Orlando Sentinel. Sentinel writer...
Interview with A. E. Carpenter, Sr., Part 2



Interview with A. E. Carpenter, Sr., Part 1



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Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article, David Flick, Mrs. Floyd H. Bruton, Clara Wendel

Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article, David Flick, Mrs. Floyd H. Bruton, Clara Wendel


Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article, Clara Wendel

Albertson Public Library - Orlando Evening Star Article, Clara Wendel


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, May 19, 1954, Mrs. Leter Harris, Mrs. Thompson Stevens, Mrs. Leland Giddens, Miss Clara Wendel, Mrs. Morton Bertin

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, May 19, 1954, Mrs. Leter Harris, Mrs. Thompson Stevens, Mrs. Leland Giddens, Miss Clara Wendel, Mrs. Morton Bertin


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, December 1953, Clara Wendel, Dorothy Glenn Lane, Dr. Norman Miller

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Evening Star Article, December 1953, Clara Wendel, Dorothy Glenn Lane, Dr. Norman Miller


Albertson Public Library, Orlando Sentinel, November 30, 1954, Library Held "Inadequate", Clara Wendel

Albertson Public Library, Orlando Sentinel, November 30, 1954, Library Held "Inadequate", Clara Wendel


Mary Branham: Perennial Miss Orlando

Mary Branham was born here in 1889, graduated from Rollins College with an A. B. degree.  She lived on campus during the week and often came home for the weekends, by train!

Mary Branham was a local teacher, historian, lecturer and social leader.

This article appeared in the June 28, 1959 edition of the Orlando Sentinel-Star.  This and more articles about Mary Branham may be found in the Biography Vertical Files in the Orlando Public Library.


A Condensed History of the Third Friday Book Club from 1954 to 2010

Created by Mrs. James C. Robinson, the former Elizabeth "Betty" Thornton, "A Condensed History of the Third Friday Book Club From 1954-2010" provides us with a glimpse of the club's activities and the books reviewed from June 1954 to 2010, with some minor gaps.

The history is pulled from meeting notes and membership lists found in the small notebooks maintained each year by the club's secretary. There are three notebooks encompassing the following dates: June 1954 to 1979, 1980 to 2013, and 2013 forward.

A page inserted in the front of the second book includes a list of the duties to be performed by the Secretary of the club, a position that rotated alphabetically annually.

Duties:
1-Check with hostess and reviewer 1 mo. in advance - (Oct.-May)
2-Send card to each member 10 days in advance (Oct.-May)
3-Request new cards in Oct.
4-Initiate arrangements for Christmas luncheon.
5-Pass sign-up sheet for hostesses and reviewers for coming Oct.- May, in May of preceding year.

Betty Robinson, in her history of the club, added:

5-Ask for substitutes at the bottom of the page for both hostess and reviewer.
6-Keep the record of meetings in the little black book.
7-Collect money for stamps as needed.

CLICK on the LINK ABOVE.


The Third Friday Book Club - 1954 to 1979

Secretary notes from June 1954 to 1979.

PLEASE NOTE: Personal information pertaining to addresses and telephone numbers have been omitted and will remain unpublished for at least 50 years.

CLICK on the LINK ABOVE.


The Third Friday Book Club - 2013 forward

Secretary notes from 2013 forward.

PLEASE NOTE: Personal information pertaining to addresses and telephone numbers have been omitted and will remain unpublished for at least 50 years.

CLICK on the LINK ABOVE.


Third Friday Book Club Meetings 1954-2015

Document is a table showing each meeting date, book title or topic presented, the name of the reviewer or presenter and the name of the hostess.

 


Third Friday Book Club Members

Names of Third Friday Book Club Members culled from the 1954-2015 Secretary notebooks. Includes first and last time name appears in the notebooks and any other special mentions, 


The Third Friday Book Club - 1980 - 2013

Secretary notes from June 1980 to 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: Personal information pertaining to addresses and telephone numbers have been omitted and will remain unpublished for at least 50 years. This may result in membership lists being omitted. 

CLICK on the LINK ABOVE.


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