Back in Division days (for those of you who remember), I was the Chairman of Volunteers for the Roadrunner Division for several years.
At the National Convention in Kansas City in 1979, someone gave me a chapter pin--a "Red Cross in the Big Apple" pin from New York City to be precise--and the rest is history. I began collecting any type of ARC pin I could get my hands on.
In 1983, while in Washington serving on a National Committee, I was asked to write an article about collecting pins. (Pin Mania was just beginning.) Although the article was never published, it lead to a lot of research. This resulted in the first edition of "A Collector's Guide to Red Cross Pins" in 1984. Hand-typed with cut-and-paste (literally) drawings, the Guide has been updated almost every year, adding new pins, better descriptions, and better drawings. (Thank Goodness for Computers & Scanners!)
Along the way, I began collecting other items of the American Red Cross. Posters, postcards, decals, certificates, uniforms - shoestrings, paperweights, slinkys - you name it, I collected!
1990 saw me researching posters issued by our National Headquarters and I was able to develop a list of over 800 posters. (No, I don't have them all!)
In 1992, I dove into the National uniform collection and began collecting documentation on them. "A Guide to American Red Cross Uniforms" became available in April of 2000. It's a first edition and it will be updated as more information becomes available.
The Uniform Lending Closet was begun in 1996 when many chapters were celebrating their 80th Anniversaries and wanted something for a display or "fashion show." I rediscovered my sewing skills to mend uniforms and remembered all the pins I'd traded over the years which were now needed on uniforms.
In 1999 I became "official" as a Volunteer Historian--Memorabilia for the Historical Resources Department at ARC National Headquarters.
There are people who have heard of the "Pin Lady" that
have no clue who Shirley Powers is. Once, I was introduced as the
"Uniform Lady" much to my surprise and pleasure.
In 2015, I received the Presidental Lifetime Achievement Award for my volunteer work with the Red Cross.
Basically, I am a volunteer historian for the organization working with the Historical Resources Department at National Headquarters. I primarily document "things" as opposed to people or events.
I'm old enough to know better (sometimes), young enough
not to care (much), married since 1974 to the very tolerant Dana who puts
up with Red Cross all over the house, and live in Albuquerque, New Mexico
where it doesn't get too hot, too cold, or too humid.
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