Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Nauvoo Pageant Returns

This is the entire Nauvoo Pageant Core Cast for 2010. Not only are they remarkable actors, but they are shining examples of true followers of Jesus Christ. The Spirit was so strong as they presented this first performance of the year of Our Story Goes On. As I sat on the "upper deck" at President Renouf's home, I smiled until my face hurt, knowing how much I love these people. There are a few new ones, but for the most part, I knew them, not just their names, but I know them, who they are and how they act and react in the face of adversity. I was so humbled to call them friends--even somewhat family--my pageant family. And I grasped for a few moments what heaven must feel like.
The lady with the microphone in front is Alex McKenzie. She is one of the directors of the pageant, but has played Leonora Taylor. She is from Jersey (not to be confused with New Jersey) in Great Britain. Behind her is Darrin, who is also from England. The lady in red is Chrisite, who will be playing Eliza R. Snow, so appropriate as she was recently called to serve as the Relief Society President in her ward. The other lady is Emily, who has some of the cutest kids you'd ever want to meet, and the man sitting on the grass is Jeff. He portrays Joseph Smith.

It looks like they are reading books, which is what it is supposed to look like. Our Story Goes On portrays the stories that each of our lives entail and how they mingle with the those of our family and friends.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Herbert Hoover Museum and Presidential Library

This is the Quaker church he would have attended as a boy. This side is the women's side and the other side is the men's side. If a baby was crying, the mother would take the child to the cry room which was outside of this area. The place is very simple. He said that it took him a long time to realize that everything he did wouldn't displease God and that you could be happy. He felt like the meetings were really long, and had a cute saying, but I can't remember it.
He and his wife were part of the effort to get people to make sacrifices to make their resources last, beginning a gardening project and no meat Mondays and other efforts to save money for the war effort. They were truly amazing people.

During World War I, he was called upon to help feed the hungry people of Belgium. Their country was blocked off from receiving food, so he called upon the people of "Main Street America" to help with the volunteer effort. Sacks of flour were sent so the children would not go hungry. The people of Belgium were forever grateful for his efforts. He was given a statue of Isis, who according to the Egyptians was the godess of life. He was called upon more than once to make sure people received food. When the Mississippi River flooded, he fed the hungry along those boundries. He went again after World War II, feeding not only people in Euorpe, but in Russia, and even folks in "the Eastern block". It seems that only America was not grateful as he was blamed for the Great Depression. It was he, who tried to warn President Coolidge about the impending doom that would come from the "devil-make hair" spending that was going on in America at the time. Sound familiar?

The first thing I thought when I saw this was my dad who threatened us not to have granite put over his grave because he wanted to be able to get out on the morning of the resurrection. The second thing I thought was how simple these graves are in comparison to Abraham Lincoln's or even Dwight Eisenhower's that has a church built over it. His Quaker beginnings held over, even though he was a man of means. When you look at the lifespan of this man, it's amazing how many presidents to whom he was an advisor or a member of a cabinet. There are pictures in the museum of him with Coolidge, Truman, Eisenhower, Wilson (whose biography he wrote), Nixon, although Nixon was president, but vice president at the time, Kennedy, Johnson, and there is even a letter nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize by Gerald Ford, who was a representative at the time.

The local school house. Bert would have attended school here at his earliest beginnings. We couldn't figure out what the white thing in the corner was, but the rest of it looked very much like the Old Wilson School that I attended when I was little, only this was a one room school house instead of several different rooms. Notice the slates on the desks. The globe at the front was configured as they knew the geography of the world in in the late 1800's.

The resident Blacksmith at the Herbert Hoover National Park. It is a working blacksmith shop. They sell horse shoes, dinner bells, and other items. He was most interesting in his presentation.

This is a rebuild of the blacksmith shop owned by his father. Herbert or Bertie, as he was called by his family, was only six years old when his father died. His mother, a Quaker minister of sorts, would travel and speak, although their meetings were silent until someone was moved upon by the Holy Spirit to speak, and took in sewing and did other projects so she could save the money she received at the sale of their property for her children's education. It wasn't long afterwards that she died, so he was shipped off to Oregon at 10 to live with an uncle and aunt.

This is inside the home. Although the furniture is not original, it gives a feeling of what it would have looked like when he was born. He was from very humble beginnings, but later became so well to do that he declined his salary as president. The only other president to do so, was John F. Kennedy.

This is the home in which Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States was born. It has two rooms and a summer kitchen in the back. His family moved shortly thereafter into a home that has since been torn down. This home is in West Branch, Iowa.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Julia Murdock Smith's grave in Nauvoo

We were on our way to get ice cream in Hamilton at the Dairy Queen(looking at me in the picture you can tell I really need it), when we stopped at the cemetery on the way out of town. Sister McCann, the one in the middle had found Julia's grave, and so went to see it.
I had wondered why she wasn't buried in the Smith family cemetery with all the others, and this gave the history of her life in a nutshell. What an amazing lady she was!!!

My friend,who makes me laugh--Sister McCann. She said that she claims the finder's fee. You can barely read the engravings on the grave, so the granite history was placed below it for people like me who can't read braille.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sunset on the Mississippi

This is Sister Camp, and the lady at the piano is Sister Robertson. Elder and Sister Camp have the assignment from Salt Lake to oversee all the Nauvoo shows except the pageant. They came out this winter and did some major overhaul to Rendevous, and they've cut this show from an hour and a half to one hour, which is really nice. They also have moved the stage so the audience doesn't have to sit directly facing the sun. They are amazing people.
This is our director from the missionaries, Sister Meyers. She is so much fun, as is her husband. She also helped bake 59,613 cookies for the bakery this summer.

Preparing hats for the children's parade prior to the show is one of our assignments. Last winter, while we were SOOO SLOW, I folded over 1000 hats for this summer. The kids decorate them, then they wear them in a parade onto the stage beating sticks and tamborines and waving the flag. Every time I see tamborines, I think of President Hinckley telling David Warner about the Nauvoo Pageant, "Lose the tamborines." But I don't think he'd mind for the children's parade.

The Nauvoo Brass Band. These young adults are incredible. They start playing around 9:30 in the morning, they ride on a horse drawn carriage for most of the day, playing their instruments, they come play for Sunset on the Mississippi and in July, they will play before the pageant.

This is about 15 minutes prior to the show. It's 80 degrees, but 100 percent humidity. In our baskets, each of us carries a jug for the jug and bottle band, water to keep from dehydrating and a copy of the order of the acts. Now that would be very helpful if the narrator got the acts in the right order instead of using an old script. I personally carry mosquito repellant, a fan, Kleenex, throat discs, an umbrella, a copy of the script, my keys, a cloth to wipe away persperation, and an extra bottle of water.

This is me narrating Suset on the Mississippi. That any missionary remembers, I am the first female narrator of the show since its inception. Behind me is the Nauvoo Brass band and the man looking like, "What are you doing?" (which is a common look I get from many people around here) is Elder Blackington, their director.