Thursday, May 31, 2007

President Leonard's First Remarks

As promised yesterday, here is video of Bethany's 13th President's first address to the public, Thursday, May 31st.

The President speaks for himself and needs no apologetics from me. It's a fine speech. I do apologize for the view. I was in the wrong place for this placement of the microphone. A little later tonight I hope to have Don Anderson's comments and some views of the "picnic" that followed. This posting took all of my ten You Tube minutes. A larger video will be posted at Google videos. When I get that post completed I'll put the URL in an update to this post.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An Old Video

This is a clip from Chris Miller's screenplay "Lose the Game." Chris has been working on this project for some time. We shot this video at the end of last summer, but I never had time to edit the shoot and put the best pieces into anything like a movie scene. WARNING!!! THE HERO OF THE PIECE - PLAYED BY CODY WHETSTONE - USES SOME ROUGH LANGUAGE. If the f-bomb offends, don't watch this clip!!!!

This is also an attempt to see if I can improve the video I upload to this site.

Thursday, 11 am, Bethany College Announces its new President. I'll be there with my video camera, and the announcement will appear here before it appears on Wichita television stations. I'll bring you the whole of the announcement - though if the ceremony takes longer than 10 minutes it will have to be shown in more than one clip - or I'll have to post it to something besides You tube.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

First Day of Rhearsal

Tonight the cast of Damn Yankees got its start on the road to opening night.

Director Cody Whetstone explains the details of the setting and its meaning for the show in this little clip

Cody's point about the "ever present metaphor" for the show is an important one. Think about all the things that the ballfield fence does for us as spectators. It defines our view of the game - unlike the sandlot game, this is a "real" game. The game is kept in the park and doesn't spill over into the rest of life. But then again, life is like a game, isn't it. If Shakespeare could proclaim "all the world's a stage," the poet of our time might declare, "all the world's a ball field." And winning and losing on the field have become, not merely metaphorically important, but existentially important. Witness what happened to Tony Johnson when he failed, for the 3rd year, to have a winning season with the Bethany Swedes.

Absent at the opening night was Rachel Bouza, who'll be playing the temptress Lola. Rachel, a Bethany sophomore, is off visiting the Grand Canyon. Hopefully we'll get some video footage posted before heading off for vacation.

Thursday Bethany College announces its new president. I promise to have video footage of the announcement and interview with the new President up on the blog by Thursday midnight - Friday early AM at the latest.

I've got an idea for Wednesday's post, but I have to see if I can get the interview I want, and the tour I'm looking for, by Wednesday afternoon.


I've noticed that my mp4 files haven't been playing properly - those 5 seconds of odd video are annoying. They don't seem to show up at the You Tube site - if you want to see the video without the annoying part, just click on the older video and I think you'll get a better view. This one isn't an mp4, and it has all the video I put onto the web.

Heritage Park Living History

I've been asked my opinion about building a Living History museum at Heritage Square. I think it's a good idea, especially when you take a look at it on this beautiful late May day. There it was, gorgeously empty. It sure would be nice to see lots of folks at the Park on a day like today - though most days at the park would be considerably warmer than this one.

One of the decisions that needs to be made before going much further in exploring the options of a Living History Park is what kind of park experience we'd like people to have when they come to our town. Right now the park is a Passive presentation of the past.

I've encountered three different kinds of Living History parks: Immersion, Representation, Guided tour of History.

The Immersion Park is the most exciting. I've experienced this kind of park in Norway, and in Minnesota. It's also the experience of Plymouth Plantation in Plimouth MA, and partly the experience of Colonial Williamsburg.

My favorite Immersion experience was at Norway's National Museum, Maihaugen.

At Maihaugen there is a working farm. In May of each year a family moves onto the farm and conducts the farm's business and interacts with the visitors to the farm. For three months the family eats, sleeps, works on this farmstead, just as they would have in about 1850. In order to interact with the farmers you have to speak a Scandinavian dialect. They don't speak English, though they do want to know about Kusin Lars who went to Amerika. Visitors enter this world, and stay for as long as they'd like. The actors stay in this world continually for three months.

The second kind of Living History Park is the Representation park. Here the players represent actual historical characters, or composites of historical types. They interact with visitors on the basis of their character's historical position and historical place. For example, the Truman library employes an actor to represent President Truman. He comes into the Oval Office, interacts with the crowd, and goes home when the Museum closes.

This is the kind of History Park I'd like to see the Heritage Square become.

I can see Dr. Swensson coming out of the Bethany Building each day to deliver an address on the need for Education in the new State. Later, he interacts with visitors, encouraging them to consider the merits of Bethany College and the ministry. He invites donations to the college, etc. Perhaps he passes out degrees at a ceremony for other "residents" of the square once a week.

G. N. Malm is there too, demonstrating his stenciling system. Discoursing upon the building of the castle on Coronado Heights (we have his original oration on the theme and occasion).

Anna Olsson is there too, telling stories of life in a dug out and on the plains. Talking about being a white girl in a little cabin surrounded by native Americans - and how her father made friends instead of war on the locals.

And there are, of course, Native peoples too - but I'm not the expert on the first Americans here.

Then, when the Park closes for the day, the Actors go home.

This is the way I'd love to see things happen at Heritage Square. In fact, I'm so positive about this option as being possible and exciting, that I don't want to even discuss the costumed tourist guide just yet. Maybe in my next Living History Park post.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Zoo Visit, Memorial Day

We took a trip to Rolling Hills Wildlife Refuge on Memorial Day (followed by a trip to Putt Putt in Salina - haven't putt putted in years).

We took the Interstate up to the Refuge, but took the back roads back to Salina. Hedville Road was clear all the way to the zoo. We took Hedville south to Highway 140, which had been closed last week. It was open all the way to Halstead. Well, it wasn't entirely open, to be accurate, but the detour didn't seem to be caused by the flooding.

The section roads onto which we were detoured showed signs of the floods. The verge of the road had eroded in several places. There were fields where the crops were covered in a thick grey sludge. There were fields that still had standing water. Signs of the flood were all around.

We didn't head to Bavaria or up to New Cambria, so no report on those flooded areas, but the parts of Saline county we did travel through showed signs that they had been flooded, but were mostly dry now. A new weather system is heading this way slowing over the next two days, so it is possible that we'll see more flooding.

It has been a hard time for the rural population of Saline County. Talked to one fellow at the zoo with his kids. Said he lost his whole alfalfa crop, $30,000 worth of seeds. He'll cover that loss with crop insurance, but is out the time and gas he invested in the planting. That's rough.

Here's the 3 minute video of our zoo trip.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

News Tips

I'd like to get out and get the news and get it online as quickly as I can, so I'd appreciate news tips. I've got the camera and I'm ready to edit. For the next month at least, I can get things up quickly. So, send an e-mail or put your tips in the comments. Thanks!

The Bethanian 2006-07

The past two years I've struggled, as Bethanian advisor, to see that the book got finished before the end of June. This year the editor, Theresa Naugle, called me for a conference before she left for Oklahoma. I was afraid that this meant I would have to do lots more work on the book before I left on vacation.


Theresa's call meant that she would finish the book on time and under budget, before she left for Oklahoma today!

Thanks and Congratulations, Theresa. It's going to be an award winning yearbook!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A New Start

I've been out of the blogging business for some time now. I'm getting back into the business because I have some time before heading off on vacation - and I've some news to share.

I'll be adding news about the development of Damn Yankees as soon as that gets underway. Other cultural news? I'll report on what I know about Midsommar and other developments, but I'll need your help to keep current for the summer.

I hope I'll keep interest without getting quite as messy as we got on the old Xanga blog. I know that controversy makes for an interesting time, but we did sometimes generate more heat than light last year.

Lindsborg Folkdanslag is dancing downtown in two weeks, getting ready for Midsommar. Come out on Thursday evening, June 7th, 6:30 pm. Up top's a photo from Helen Weaver from the last time Folkdanslag danced downtown.

The Smoky Hill River

We were out traveling Burma Road on Thursday, going to Salina. I was sorry I didn't have a video camera along to shoot the floods around Smolan. What a mess!

What's awesome is the power of water when it has been unleashed in a flood. The creek has subsided, I hear, but Majkin Holmquist says that "If you spit it'll flood again." And the sky has been spitting off and on all day. It'll probably do more tonight and tomorrow, so the Smoky may rise yet again. This is what it looked like on Friday and Saturday.

First News from Damn Yankees process

A brand new blog, with a brand new name, and a new purpose. I've run into difficulty getting community news through the Lindsborg New Record, so I want to see if I can by pass that outlet and still get news out. I also want to see if I can manage to get the post with embedded video. It's one way to spend at least part of my summer free time and use my cameras and video editing itch.

To start off, here's an short video interview with Cody Whetstone.