This week’s column is a reflection of the awesome Chautauqua events of the last weekend! I was able to attend quite a few things and enjoyed them all. Wednesday night on Main Street with the reenactment of the visit of President Franklin D Roosevelt really created the feel of the era. The handmade red, white, and blue flags for the crowd to wave were a great touch. My mom, daughter, and I were there and it sparked an interesting conversation between my mom and daughter about remembering those years especially because my grandfather was a die hard Republican and didn’t like Roosevelt. All I have ever heard was how great President Roosevelt was so it was interesting to hear the other side of the story and that not everyone was thrilled with him.
Friday night, we attended the Sister Aimee Semple McPherson talk after I was part of the “Flash Gordon” radio program. That was so much fun, the rest of the cast members were a hoot and Pattijo Peterson nailed the part of Dale Arden, his girlfriend. Hard not to laugh when the references are to ray guns, lead walls, and radium arcs.
Tonia Compton as Sister Aimee was fascinating and it was eerie how much her words echoed what is happening in our country now. She delivered a sermon on modernism and evolutionists and there was no doubt which way her feelings went. I am fascinated that until the moment Will Rogers explained who he was and who she was in the real world, neither of them broke character.
Friday night we knew the majority of the kids performing from the Youth Camp so we were happy to attend and support them. All of the kids dedication for the week was evident as they were all inhabiting their characters completely. The historical figures from our town are so amazing and their stories never cease to intrigue me.
Sunday morning we attended the Community Church Service with the Dust Bowl Choir. Hosanna Lutheran, Church of the Holy Spirit, and First Presbyterian of Plattsmouth all had clergy participating in the service. It was a perfect morning to be under the tent, with a cool breeze and perfect sunshine. What a blessing, the choir sang one of the comforting hymms of my childhood, “Take My Hand, Lord” and a very rousing, “I Feel Fine” at the end. Then the entire congregation sang, “The Battle Hymm of the Republic” to close the service. Kudos to everyone involved, it was very moving. Several of the ladies were wearing 30’s garb complete with hats to complete the feeling of the service.
After church, the kids and I walked through the museum and admired the exhibits. Many thanks to Margo Prentiss and Linda Duncan for playing the two victrolas for my son! They also taught the kids how to play the train bells and ring the big bell. They were enthralled and we left after my son got to punch his cards at the post office. I have been visiting the museum forever and I still see something new every time-this time it was more details about the general store.
We then went to the Plattsmouth State Bank and viewed the Dear Eleanor, Dear Michelle exhibit. My daughter participated in the workshop and learned a lot about the art of writing a proper letter to a famous person. We also looked at the iconic images-Dan Rohan’s project of capturing current images of Plattsmouth was diverse and well done.
Last, we strolled up and down Main Street admiring the windows of businesses with special displays to promote Chautauqua. The quilts at Seams to Be Quilt Shop were astounding.
My friend Meridee’s window with the dryer and perm machine were frightening. I think my hair would be au natural in those days if those were the options! We also loved that Jerry and Myrna Higgins spelled out their names with pipes.
It was also a great way to close out the weekend. Many, many congratulations to everyone who worked together to make the whole event so successful especially Jeanene Wehrbein and Pat Meisinger. I asked them both how it felt to be retired since the event has been a full time job since January! They laughed.
Have a good week everyone-next week tball and pool pictures and I will be back to posting general announcements.