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Today I want to take the time to tell you about the two exciting events that we will be hosting this week! The first takes places tomorrow, and the other is on Saturday, October 29.
Tomorrow’s event is Art Tour Odd # Thursday #5. The host for this week’s Odd # Thursday is Perry’s own Betsy Peterson! For those who do not know, Betsy is a local Perry artist who has her studio, Betsy Peterson Designs, at 1121 Second Street, Perry, Iowa. The event starts at 4:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee tomorrow, behind the fireplace near the Canning painting. She will be giving a short talk about her art and how it relates to the Gary Ernest Smith paintings on display and then she will be giving tours to those who are interested. The tours will be different from other tours, as they will be given from Betsy’s perspective!
Saturday’s event is one of a kind that should provide a unique experience to everyone who attends. This Saturday is the Painting Intensive for Adults. Although this may sound intimidating, the class is for anyone from beginners to advanced! The instructor for this class will be Robert Spellman, a professional painter from Des Moines, Iowa. The class will take place from 9 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, October 29 at Betsy’s studio. Again, the address for Betsy’s studio is at 1121 Second Street, Perry, Iowa. The class will cost $35 per person. To attend, we ask that everyone call or email Betsy, using either email@example.com or 515-657-1837. You may be thinking, “Why should I attend this class?” Well, the class will help celebrate the artwork of Gary Ernest Smith through the observation of his work. You will be talking about his stories and techniques, and creating a painting of your own using your personality and imagination. This piece will be completely yours; not everyone will be painting the same thing! All supplies will be provided, so you need not worry about bringing your own. We also ask that everyone bring a sack lunch, a fridge and a microwave will be available. Finally, if you want to attend please wear casual clothing you will be comfortable painting in! It looks to be like a very entertaining class, so if you are interested in attending, please remember to pre-register!
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I wanted to take this time to tell you of the great event we are holding this Friday, October 21. This Friday Hometown Heritage is hosting a trivia night! The night will start at 6:30 P.M. in the Hotel Pattee Ballroom. The trivia will be done in four rounds, with the topics of Drinks, Sports, Perry History, and Art. Each table will be a team, and so far, there are eight teams! Even if you do not have a team already, you can simply join a team at any of the tables. At the start of the night, we will be selling four mulligans for $5, with the proceeds supporting Hometown Heritage. These mulligans can be used once per round to allow your team to skip a question but still get the point.
Trivia is not the only thing that will be happening on Friday night. The Hotel Pattee will be selling Craft Beer and light appetizers for everyone to enjoy during the trivia. A musician will also be there, to provide live entertainment. A short tour of the Gary Ernest Smith art will be given during the intermission as well! This tour even provide hints to some of the answers during the Art round of the trivia. Overall, the night promises to be full of food, friends, and fun. I hope to see you all there!
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Today I want to take the time and tell you about the Art Tour Odd # Thursday #4 event that we are holding tomorrow. This time, Adrienne Gennett from Brunnier Art Museum in Ames will be here in Perry! This is a great chance to meet one of the driving forces behind the Gary Ernest Smith Exhibition. In fact, she was instrumental in the hanging of many of the pictures in the Town Craft building and the Security Savings Bank. If you ever had any questions about hanging art, putting on an exhibit, or something similar, this is the perfect chance to ask them! The afternoon will start at the Hotel Pattee, at the table behind the fireplace near the Canning painting at 4:30 P.M. There will be time to talk with Adrienne, and afterwards she will lead some tours of the Exhibition. These tours will be different from previous tours, as she will be lending her on perspective on all the art. The afternoon will then conclude at 6:30 P.M. I hope to see all of you there!
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The date is August 6, 1902, and you are boarding the train on the Milwaukee line heading to Milwaukee. It is a sunny afternoon, and everything seems normal. As you board the train, you can see engineers and other workers rushing around preparing the train for departure. As the whistle blows signaling the train will be leaving the station soon, you hurry toward your seat and place your baggage above you on the rack. You then settle into your seat, ready for what you assume will be a standard trip on the train. Little do you know, this train will never make it to its final stop.
An hour or so passes on the train, and everything seems normal. People talk in hushed tones around you, keeping mostly to themselves. The conductor, having collected all the tickets, returns from the back of the train, heading toward the front. As you watch him walk past, you wonder what he does during the trip and admire his fancy hat, but soon return to the book you brought with you. More time passes, and you hear the train whistle blow loudly as the train pulls into the station. Seeing that this is the station at Collins, you return to your book, not paying much attention to those boarding and disembarking. Your eyes grow heavy, and soon you fall asleep as the train pulls out of the station.
The train lets out an ear-piercing whistle, jarring you awake. You look out the window, and are surprised to see that the train is not near a station at all. Another shrill whistle sounds, and it fills you with a sense of urgency. You try to lean as close to the window as you can to get a glimpse of what is ahead, but you cannot see anything. A third whistle sounds: now other people on the train are starting to talk. Everyone can feel something in the air, but no one knows what exactly it is. A fourth whistle, even more urgent sounding than the third, and suddenly you are thrown from your seat as the sound of metal crashing into metal fills the air. Chaos ensues as people are flung about the train. Your head pounds, and as you put your hand to your temple you feel a hot, sticky liquid and pull your hand back to see your fingers coated in red. The conductor, his clothes a mess and without his hat, comes back through the train, asking people to quickly and quietly leave the train. You do as he asks, and as you move down the train you seem some people following his advice, while others sit eerily still. Once off the train and a fair distance away, you look and it finally dawns upon you that you have just survived a horrible train wreck, one in which some people will not be leaving alive.
Although this may not have been exactly how it happened, a train wreck did occur on August 6, 1902 between Collins and Rhodes Iowa. As you can see in the picture, the locomotive is in a bad state, having just run into a work train. Nine people, including an engineer from Perry, died in the crash. Although our records do not state the exact details of the crash, it seems likely that the work train was not supposed to be on the tracks. In reality, only those on the train could have known what truly happened, but who knows, maybe my description is closer than I think!
As a reminder, the next Gary Ernest Smith event is on October 13th at the Hotel Pattee from 4:30 – 6:30! This time Adrienne Gennett, the Assistant Curator of Collections and Education at University Museums in ISU will be here! I hope to see you there!