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Park Ranger icon Betty Reid Soskin, 98, says she’s ‘back at work’

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RICHMOND — Beloved National Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin cheered hundreds of people on Facebook Tuesday with the news that she’s “back at work” at the Rosie the Riveter museum after suffering a stroke five months ago.

The 98-year-old Soskin announced on Facebook that she’ll be working at the Rosie the Riveter World War II/Home Front National Historic Park in a limited capacity.

Her Facebook post stated: “Hello friends! This is actually Betty. Five months after a stroke, I’m back at work. Not “actually”, but at the invitation of Tom Leatherman. I’ll just be visiting, with no work schedule to get in the way, but back at work none-the-less. We take whatever we can get. I’ll be “working” from eleven ’til one. If you have nothing else to do, stop by and we’ll catch up.”

The reaction on Facebook was immediate with hundreds of people posting congratulatory messages.

In a Facebook post on Sept. 22, Reid wrote that Soskin was showing evidence of a stroke while working at the Rosie the Riveter World War II/Home Front National Historic Park. Reid established a GoFundMe drive for Soskin’s medical care.

Soskin is well-known for her popular, engaging talks on Richmond’s history, race and social change at the Rosie the Riveter museum, where she spoke about her own experience as a young black woman working at a segregated union hall in Richmond.

Soskin is the nation’s oldest park ranger and has received a number of accolades, including a presidential coin from President Barack Obama at the 2015 National Tree Lighting Ceremony. She also was named among Glamour Magazine’s 2018 Women of the Year.

Soskin is the acclaimed author of “Sign My Name To Freedom,” a memoir that includes her varied experiences as a singer, civil rights activist, legislative representative, mother and as one of the chief planners of the Rosie the Riveter museum.

“Betty’s world views were formed in her earliest years in Black Creole New Orleans, but were shaped and molded during her upbringing in East Oakland and her years as a wife and mother, songwriter and performer in eastern Contra Costa County, as a black business leader in Berkeley, as a public servant and public advocate in the city of Richmond, and in her personal struggles against racial discrimination and other injustices in the years throughout,” the memoir states.

A new documentary about Soskin, “No Time to Waste,” debuted last year and is scheduled to be shown Feb. 2 at the Rafael Theater in San Rafael and Feb. 22 at The Presidio in San Francisco.

Source: East Bay Park Ranger icon Betty Reid Soskin, 98, says she’s ‘back at work’

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