No Monday blues in Johnson City

Johnson City Press • Jan 9, 2020 at 6:45 AM

Mondays get a bad rap. Pop music has illustrated just how much we dislike the first day of the work week. The Mamas & the Papas made it clear in “Monday Monday.” The Carpenters said it in “Rainy Days and Mondays.” The Boomtown Rats chimed in with “I Don’t Like Mondays.”

For 128 years in Johnson City, though, Mondays have been bringing something special. The Monday Club is among the city’s oldest — if not the oldest — active civic organizations. Members have brought countless contributions to the betterment of this community.

Founded in 1892 as the Ladies Reading Circle, the Monday Club began what is now the Johnson City Public Library as a reading room on the second floor of the Reeves Building in downtown in 1895. The club went on to lead the drive for the construction of the Mayne Williams Library, the first of three new public library buildings the club would help finance.

As the JCPL celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, it’s fitting to recognize the club’s efforts toward literacy here, but as Senior Reporter Sue Guinn Legg reported in Tuesday’s edition, the Monday Club’s service has gone well beyond books and mortar.

The club initiated the city’s first garbage collection system, purchasing cans for residential neighborhoods for city trucks to pick up. Members introduced the city’s first school lunch program, preparing and carrying homemade vegetable soup and sandwiches into public schools. Amid the international polio epidemic, club members purchased vaccinations for children.

And the list goes on — from community beautification projects to dental and medical clinics. The club continues to meet at the JCPL, and 20 new members are helping sustain that long tradition of service.

So, the first Monday of every month at the library is anything but blue. Johnson City residents owe Monday Club members immeasurable gratitude.

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