Monday, September 29, 2014

Mrs. Woody at the Toole County Library

Mrs. Woody travels to Shelby MT

Shelby Elementary School
I started my day the the Shelby Elementary School speaking to the 5th and 6th graders. They were very engaging and had lots of questions for me.

Shelby Heritage Center
At 1pm I was at the Shelby Heritage Center to speak to the senior residents and hear some of their stories too.

Shelby Heritage Center
This lucky fellow got to join me at the courting table because, truthfully, no one else wanted to get up.

Shelby Heritage Center
This fellow, Tom, is a WWII vet and regaled me with machinegunner stories for quite some time. I could have stayed all day, chatting with him.

Toole County Library
Lastly, I spoke at the Toole County Library at 7pm. A smaller crowd but no less enthusiastic and I was pleased to see a few familiar faces from the elementary school. A fun, long and very enjoyable day in Shelby for me.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Humanities in Shelby MT

Shelby Elementary School

Coyote News!

Elementary Spends The Morning With Mrs. Woody

The Toole County Friends of the Library hosted the Humanities Montana program “Mrs. Woody’s Trunk Full of Memories” with Jennie Pak.
Mrs. Pak portrayed Sara Woody and told of her life, beginning in the 1860s and ending with her death in 1919, as she sifted through her trunk. Each item sparked a memory she shared. She remembered the wagon trail journey from Iowa to California, her time as a frontier school teacher and her marriage to Frank H. Woody, the first mayor of Missoula.
The 5th/6th grade students enjoyed the presentation and would like to to thank the Friends of the Library for including them in this experience.
 Mrs. Woody
 Mrs. Woody 2

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Friends of the Library host ‘Mrs. Woody’s Trunk Full of Memories’ on September 23 - Golden Triangle News: News

Friends of the Library host ‘Mrs. Woody’s Trunk Full of Memories’ on September 23 - Golden Triangle News: News

Friends of the Library host ‘Mrs. Woody’s Trunk Full of Memories’ on September 23

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Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:00 am

Montana history buffs, history students and anyone who is interested at all in what pioneer life was like for Montana women are in for a treat, thanks to the Friends of the Library. On Tuesday, Sept. 23, Jennie Pak of the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau, will be presenting “Mrs. Woody’s Trunk Full of Memories” at Shelby Elementary School at 10 a.m., the Heritage Center at 1 p.m., and a final time, free to the public, at 7 p.m. at the Toole County Library.
Pak’s program gives a detailed insight into what the life of Montana pioneer, Sarah Elizabeth Woody, was like after moving west and finding her self at the forefront of the start of a community in the state of Montana.

Pak portrays Mrs. Woody in later years, as she digs through her old travel trunk, each item sparking a memory of a life well lived. A wagon train journey from Iowa to California, her time as a frontier schoolteacher, her marriage to Frank H. Woody, Missoula’s first mayor, and home life in a cabin in the village of Missoula are just a few stories Mrs. Woody shares.
Pak, who has been portraying Mrs. Woody for audiences around Montana for the past three years as part of the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program, has been researching Sarah Elizabeth Woody for the past eight years. She was first introduced to Mrs. Woody by the sexton at the Missoula Cemetery.
“They have a program called ‘Stories and Stones’ every year at the Missoula cemetery,” said Pak. “I went and spoke with the sexton about who might be available for me as she is fantastic about gathering information and stories on people she wants more deeply investigated. She told me that I had two options, Sarah Woody or the jail matron. She didn’t have much on the jail matron, and most of the information and stories would be about the sheriffs. It seems the pioneer stories are always about the men, so Ichose Sarah, although over the may have chose me.”
Pak does have a day job, providing care to seniors in their homes, allowing her a flexible schedule to work with. She has spent countless hours looking into all aspects of what Mrs. Woody’s life was like, piece by piece.
Over the years she has also accumulated pieces that work to accommodate the time period and that fit the story. While none of the “artifacts” are from that time period, they serve their purpose, visually illustrating the story for the audience. Studying the history, gathering different pieces to help illustrate and performing for an audience are all things Pak greatly enjoys. No two performances are the same and the reason for that, according to Pak, is because no two audiences are the same.
“I temper the program to the audience,” she explained. “Different aspects of Mrs. Woody’s life pertain more to different ages. There was a period of time where she lost six kids in a very short period, when I talk to kids I don’t go into detail on this part of her life, but the older people I do, as some of them have lost children and can relate. The interactions with the crowd are priceless, each program unique, sometimes it’s more of a conversation with the audience and others it’s a presentation.”
Having a “day job,” and all the time spent on researching and rehearsing, as well as traveling to perform, come with challenges, but the main challenge any given time is the weather. Most of the presentations are scheduled around the state during the fall, winter and spring months, making traveling an adventure or something that is just not happening. The weather for Tuesday, Sept. 23, isn’t looking too treacherous for travel (yet), and Pak is looking forward to performing in Shelby.
 “It seems most of the time these programs are taking place during the worst of weather,” Pak chuckled. “But the weather isn’t looking like it should be too bad come next week and I’m looking forward to coming and performing in Shelby.”
For more information on the upcoming event, contact Eve Jacobson at 434-2873.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ol' Wild West Fest

We had a great day at Fort Missoula for the second annual Ol' Wild West Fest. The weather was great and the crowd was a bit bigger than last year. Hopefully this event catches on and grows over the years. 

The Victorian Ladies Tea Guild
The Victorian Ladies participated in a fashion show. They added a touch of elegance to an otherwise rustic event.

Victorian card making in the kids' corner

Victorian card making with the kids

The Horse is called Murphy, the gentleman's name escapes me