Sunday, August 07, 2005

Grounds Crew at the University of Michigan

The Ann Arbor Friends Meeting led the way to set up the full Memorial on the "Diag" of the University of Michigan campus. Quite a bit of back and forth negotiation occurred during June and July as to the requirements for the Memorial.

First, university officials only agreed to the cement and brick area in front of the library. The grounds crew did not want the boots on the grass. When they were told that many of the boots would not be put out, they reconsidered and allowed us to place the boots in the grass.

But because the grounds crew insisted that the grass needed to be watered each night, the boots had to be put away and set up again each morning. The Friends agreed, knowing that it would require many extra volunteers. The other piece of added work included hauling all of the materials about 100 yards from the truck to the actual location.

After the first day, as people in the city and at the university saw the display, a surprise happened on the set-up on Friday. All nine members of the grounds crew came out early to help set up the Memorial. They told one of our organizers that usually they hate the time the Art Fair is in Ann Arbor, but this year they felt that they were participating in something extremely meaningful.

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