Saturday, October 14, 2023

Still Life with Robin: Renaming "Dave Thomas Circle" - Part III

by Peggy Robin

If you've missed Part I and Part II of this irregular series, you can get up to speed with these past columns:

1. April 22, 2023 Still Life with Robin: The former "Dave Thomas Circle" needs a new name -- and DDOT wants your help!
Explains what "Dave Thomas Circle" is, why it needs a total redesign/rebuild, and a new name.

2. August 19, 2023 Still Life with Robin: August 25 Is Your Deadline to Vote! (in the Rename Dave Thomas Circle Election)
Lists the top five candidates for the three-traffic-island mini-park that will be created, including descriptive write-ups of each nominee, followed by my "voter's guide" giving my analysis/opinion of each.

....And the WINNER IS:

It was not my favorite. Here's how I reacted to the nomination of this name: 

Mamie "Peanut" Johnson Plaza. That's some mouthful! Realistically, who's going to call it that, if this choice wins? You just know it will be shortened to "Peanut Plaza". Perhaps if they put up a statue of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson in the largest of the three strips of grass, people would learn a little baseball history. But my vote would be to give the lady a statue at the new NLB Museum in Kansas City, MO. As for the second part - calling these three discontinuous parcels of land a "plaza" -- nope!

But I bow to the people's choice! "Peanut Plaza" it is! 

By the way, there is a sort of tribute to Mamie "Peanut" Johnson that was subtly interwoven into the classic baseball movie, "A League of Their Own" (1992). Blink your eyes and you'll miss it -- but there's a scene in which a black woman (who was not invited to the whites-only try-outs) catches a stray ball and hurls it back onto the field with the force of a major-league pitcher. That scene was based on something that really happened the day that Mamie "Peanut" Johnson showed up to the tryouts and was turned away because of her race. The scene in the movie is entirely wordless, but if you know anything about Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, you should know she's the real star of this scene.  

Watch that clip from the movie here: 

See her new traffic plaza here:   

Read more about it here:
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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