Hello readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
Today I want to tell you about tomorrow’s event, Art Tour Odd # Thursday 8! Similar to other Art Tour Odd # Thursdays, this event will take place in the lobby of the Hotel Pattee starting at 4:30 P.M and ending at 6:30 P.M. This time, however, our host will be Jennifer Drinkwater! Jennifer Drinkwater is an Associate Professor at Iowa State University and a Community Arts Coordinator. Some of you may recognize her, as she has been active here in Perry. She is part of the Latino Americans: 500 Years Of History events, which started earlier this year. Her role in those events is to help create a mural for Perry, based off several Oral History that we helped to collect. During tomorrow’s event, she will be talking about how she creates her art and the art of Gary Ernest Smith. The evening promises to bring a fresh perspective to the artwork on display. The event is free and open to the public, so we hope to see many of you there!
Hello and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
The holiday season has official started, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Many people will be gathering with their families to eat copious amounts of food and take a much-deserved break. The staple of numerous feasts tomorrow will be a home cooked (and hopefully not burnt) turkey. Most people will buy their turkeys at the store, already cleaned, plucked, and frozen. However, can you imagine what it would be like to have to raise your own turkey just for the Thanksgiving feast?
Back in the early 1900s, many families had to raise and then slaughter their own turkey if they wanted to have one for a Thanksgiving celebration. Imagine you woke up Thanksgiving morning, bright and early, to start preparing for the day. You head outside to your farm, and similar to Donald Johnson in the picture below, you find yourself surrounded by turkeys. It is probably very loud with all of the gobbling going on, making it hard to hear anything else. Alternatively, maybe you saw some just outside by your car, similar to the turkeys seen in the picture of Stroudtman Farm. Which turkey do you pick? After spending so many months raising them, you must know all about them, possible even named some. The choice would be quite difficult; do you pick the one with the most meat on it, or the one that you can catch the easiest? I imagine the turkeys would not be very happy about the idea of being cooked up and eaten, similar to those of the chickens in the movie Chicken Run (perhaps they have plans to escape!). After catching the right turkey, you then have to slaughter it, pluck out all the feathers, remove parts like the feet, and determine the best way to cook it. From the sounds of it, getting a turkey for Thanksgiving used to be an all day ordeal! Personally, I think I will stick to hunting down my turkey in the grocery aisle.
As we cook our turkey this Thanksgiving, I am going to be thankful that I did not have to go out and hunt it down myself. Readers, what are you going to be thankful for this Thanksgiving? Leave a comment and let us know, and I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!
Hello and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog!
This week I wanted to tell you all about the event we are having tomorrow night, November 17! This time it is Art Tour Odd # Thursday #7. Unlike previous Art Tour Odd # Thursdays, this one will be something a little different!
Tomorrow, starting at 4:30 P.M., Dr. Randy McCaulley will be at the Hotel Pattee. His theme for the evening will be “An Evening of Art and Music”. As you may be able to glean from the title, tomorrow night will feature both art and music! Dr. Randy McCaulley will be playing his music at the Hotel, using the piano some of you may have seen in the lobby and singing. I do not know exactly what songs he will be playing, but it could be possible that he might take a request or two, so come with some songs in mind. Aside from playing, he will also be there to talk about music, art, and answer any other question you may have. The night will last until 6:30, and you can come any time you like and join in the fun. Similar to previous Art Tour Odd # Thursdays as well, we will have Betsy Peterson’s art cart available, so that you can try your hand at making a painting similar to those you see on display. So far, a few people have tried it and their paintings have come out great. I hope to see many of you there to enjoy the music and the art!
Hello Readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
Yesterday, America chose who was going to be its 45 president. The candidates campaigned hard all across America, but they both spent a fair amount of time in Iowa. This trend does not appear to be new, either. Presidents have been making stops in not only Iowa, but also small towns such as Perry for a long time! Today I thought I would share with you some of the Presidential visits I found in our collection.
This Presidential visit took place in 1948. Some of you may be able to remember that during that time, the President was Harry Truman. Although the pictures we have, such as the one you see here, are of him visiting Dexter and not Perry, Perry still played a big part: the Perry High School band was invited to play at his speech! Our records do not show what President Truman spoke about, or why the band was invited to play, but it must have been quite an honor to play for the President.
Other presidents also have some ties to Perry, Iowa. A presidential hopeful made many stops in Iowa, particularly in Perry, during his many candidacies. This man was William Jennings Bryan, who spoke twice in Perry, trying his best to win each presidential race (although he ultimately he lost three times). We have a picture of one of his speeches on display in the Chautauqua room in the Hotel. Perry native Robert Dean Harrison had some contact with the presidential office, as he served in the Secret Service protecting President Eisenhower. George Soumas also met President Eisenhower. Overall, it seems like even small towns like Perry, Iowa can have some big connections to the highest office in the land.
On a different note, I want to let you all know that Hometown Heritage will be open this weekend during Art on the Prairie! This time we will have Rick Stewart, the man behind the two most recent Wall of Witnesses reliefs, down in our office demonstrating some of his craft. If you are participating in the events, make sure to come down to the lower level of the Town/Craft Building to see a sculptors work in person!
Hello and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog!
Today I want to tell you all about the events that we have going on this week. First, this week we have Art Tour Odd # Thursday # 6! The theme for this Odd # Thursday is Second Language. The host will be Jon Wolseth, who is part of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. He will not only be available to talk to and answer your questions, but he will also be giving tours in Spanish! It is promising to be a fun and educational night.
The next event that we have this week is on Friday, November 4. Hometown Heritage and the Perry Historic Preservation Commission are pleased to announce the unveiling of a new relief for the Wall of Witnesses! The new relief will depict Charles Joy, and the artist making the relief is Rick Stewart, an artist from Newton. Charles Joy was a local attorney, Dallas County Attorney, and Perry Ambassador. He was very active in the community, backing the creation of new banks, churches, and even helping to establish the original hog processing plant in Perry. Those who knew him said that he “never met a stranger”, as he would strike up a conversation with anyone by saying “Hi, I’m Charlie Joy from Perry, Iowa”. He was a loving husband, father to three and grandfather to six. The Perry Historic Preservation Commission chose to honor Charles after receiving numerous nominations earlier this year. This event will include a short program, where we encourage people to come and share their memories of Charles, as well as the unveiling of the relief itself. This will start at 6:00 P.M. at the Town Craft Gallery in Perry, at 1124 Willis Avenue. There will be light refreshments available, and the event is free and open to the public. As a bit of a bonus for reading this post, I am giving you a sneak peek at what the relief may look like! The picture that you see on the left is one of the artist’s sketches of the relief, showing a courthouse like building a signifying Charles Joy’s work in the legal world.
We encourage all of you to come to both of these events!