Friday, February 29, 2008

Soup at Six - Aviation

What a great night!

I really enjoyed giving the program last night on Canton's Pioneers in Flight! We had the Charles Lindbergh scroll on display and everyone was really fascinated with it. We sold 9 copies of my book at the book signing afterwards, which was a wonderful number since there were 28 people who attended!

Randy's soup was great, as always -- chicken tortilla!!

Here are some video clips from the program. Chris took quite a few, so it was hard to decide what to choose for the blog. So there are more than I usually post!

Here I start the program by explaining how MOST people weren't experimenting with flight!

Frank S. Lahm founded the Aero Club of Ohio.

The Wright Brothers taught Frank P. Lahm how to fly.

William H. Martin invented the first monoplane.
(If the screen is black, just push the play button anyway)

Bernetta Miller was the 5th woman in the United States to earn her pilot's license. She is one of my favorite characters in local history!
(If the screen is black, just push the play button anyway)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Organizing photos

OK, I have FINALLY had it!

My photos are so disorganized!

Years ago when I started scanning photos from the archives, I would file them according to what project they were for. Some went into my book folder. Some were scanned on a certain date. Some were scanned for an exhibit.

And NOW, all of my photos are in cryptic folders and I can't even find them!

So, this afternoon, I am going to RE-ORGANIZE all of my photos so that they make sense when I need to find one.

The reason I was looking through them is because I had to convert my "Canton During Wartime" program into PowerPoint from an old-fashioned slide show. I have mentioned before that I used to use an old Kodak projector, until the thing was so out of focus I know my audience was wondering if they needed to pay a visit to the eye doctor by the time I was through!

I make all of my new programs in PowerPoint now, and I convert the old ones as they are booked. Most have been converted, but every now and then someone requests a program that is an "oldie but a goodie" and I have to convert it.

Since the last time I did "Canton During Wartime," I had scanned some interesting photos of Diebold's armored scout cars. So I was able to add them. I had also scanned a drawing of McKinley in his war room during the Spanish-American War for the new McKinley Gallery exhibit. So the program is much improved.

Now, I must go figure out a system that will make sense. Organizing the photos by topic will certainly make them easier to find! For example, I can make one folder of businesses, and then make sub-folders for Hoover, Timken, Diebold, etc.

Next time I need to find a photo, it will be MUCH easier!!

I AM DONE!!! And it isn't even 3:00 yet! That wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I organized my folders into broad categories: Aviation, Buildings, Businesses, Celebrations & Events, Cemeteries, Churches, Civil War, Entertainment, Homes, Hospitals, Maps, McKinley, Mellett, Meyers Lake, Monument, Museum, People, Schools, Social Clubs & Activities, Sports, Stores, Street Scenes, World War I, and World War II.

I should have done this a long time ago...!!

Roaring Twenties Review

Here is the program, as promised last week!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Charles Lindbergh

Gary Brown wrote another great story about a scroll that Charles Lindbergh dropped while flying over Canton in the 1920s.

Click here to read all about it!

The artifacts will be on display for one day only on Thursday night at my Soup at Six talk and book signing of Canton's Pioneers in Flight.

I work with artifacts every day, so it takes a bit more to thrill me than it used to. But when I saw this one, I was awestruck! It was great to feel that way, and remind myself that all of the artifacts under my care are unique and special. Artifacts connect us to the past in a way that no other medium can do -- not a book, a movie, or a website. I get to work with the "real thing," and that is just one of the many reasons that I love what I do!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Steve's beer

Here's a little sneak peek at next month's Soup at Six!!

The airlock at the top of the jug is bubbling as Steve's beer ferments.

The week in review

I'm working on so many things simultaneously, it's hard to keep track of everything! So I will just make a list of highlights this week:

  • I am *almost* finished with the updated aviation program. I wanted to expand some of it and add new things I learned while writing Canton's Pioneers in Flight. I will be speaking about aviation at our next Soup at Six event on Thursday February 28.
  • I went on CTC (Community Television Consortium) last night to talk about the bridal show. Five minutes go by in the blink of an eye! We have so many interesting stories to highlight this year. I'll be posting some of them soon. Chris also taped the show before mine, and he highlighted the 1920s programs that are yet to come.
  • Speaking of 1920s programs, Steve began making beer this week for his Soup at Six program next month on "Homebrewing." It was a lot of fun to watch! It is currently bubbling and fermenting in a dark corner of the museum. I'm looking forward to his program -- and to tasting some of his beer!
  • On Tuesday I met with Gary Brown to talk about a Charles Lindbergh artifact that we have here at the museum. The story will in Monday's paper, so I won't spoil it now. I'll post a link Monday.
  • Susie Thomas called me this afternoon to come co-host her radio show on 95.9 next Friday morning. Of course I jumped at the chance! I really enjoy doing radio shows. So if you're local, tune in next Friday at 8:00 AM!
  • We have the program all in place for the "Roaring Twenties Review" on Saturday March 15. I'm waiting for feedback from the rest of the Marketing Committee before I post it. That will be forthcoming next week also.
  • My intern Erin continues to do a fantastic job. She has been helping catalog artifacts for the past couple of weeks. Next week she will start thinking about exhibit ideas for the first floor lobby. I've had piggy banks up for the duration of the penny campaign, and it is time for something else to go in there.
  • Yesterday I gave my "Meyers Lake Revisited" program at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Massillon. They were a great group of seniors, and I think they enjoyed my talk! I was running a little late and when I got there I couldn't park anywhere near the church. I rushed in the door of the Parish Hall and followed the scent of lunch downstairs -- to an empty room! I panicked, thinking I had gotten my facts screwed up and was either at the wrong church or at the right church on the wrong date. I saw some ladies in the kitchen, who told me that everyone was in a church service before the program! I was much relieved.
So that's my week in a nutshell.

Looking ahead to next week, I will have lots of modeling appointments for the bridal show. It is always a little nerve-wracking as we search for dresses to fit the young ladies who have volunteered their time to be in the show. Obviously, you can't alter the dresses at all to fit the people. You have to find the right people to wear the dresses! I will probably begin writing the script the week after next.

I also would like to welcome our new librarian, Karl Ash! He started this morning and is feeling as overwhelmed as all of us have on our first day at this busy museum. I promised him that he would get the feel of the place quickly, and offered to do all I can to help him figure out anything he needs help with. Welcome aboard, Karl!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Volunteer Gary Blass

This morning I received word that museum volunteer Gary Blass passed away last night.

His wife called me on Monday and asked if I would come out to their house sometime this week because Gary had some McKinley items he wanted to donate. She told me he wasn't doing well and that Hospice had been called in. I asked when would be a good time, and she said they would be home all week. Since I had some appointments on Tuesday, I asked if Wednesday would work.

So we set up an appointment for 11:00 AM this morning. She said Gary would really like to see Joyce too, so we both planned to go this morning.

When I got in today I had a message from Janice Blass canceling our appointment, because Gary had passed away last night.

I was shocked. She called again later this morning to make sure I got her first message. I got to talk to her this time, and she said that they knew it was coming, but didn't expect it so soon.

Gary was a very active volunteer before Chris and I came here, but we did see him from time to time at museum events. I also went to his house to do my "Meyers Lake Revisited" program for his Sunday school class last summer.

Gary was very proud of the museum and always told Chris and me that we were doing a great job whenever we saw him. Although we didn't know him as well as we would have liked, he will be missed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New email newsletter

We are going to try something new!

The Marketing Committee met this morning and decided to collect email addresses so we can promote events and programs to people who would like to know more about us.

Stephanie has a new volunteer in mind who might be interested in helping to manage this endeavor.

I made some cute little forms on bright paper and scattered them around the building. We will also have them available to people who attend our programs, like Soup at Six and Tea with the Curator.

This will be a free way for us to get our message to people who are already interested in what we do. We will still have the print newsletter available as a benefit of membership. The new email newsletter will be more like a calendar of events and a reminder of what's coming up. (No in-depth articles)

If you'd like to be added to our list, let me know. You can visit our website and drop me a note. I'll see that it gets in the right hands.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy President's Day!!

It sure is a holiday here at the museum! We have some special programs and shows planned for today, which is usually a big day for us because schools are off. Stephanie and her volunteers are serving lunch in the "Museum Cafe" too. So our visitors can come and stay all day.

The story about McKinley is in this morning's Akron Beacon-Journal. Click here to read it! (I particularly enjoy the title: "Canton curator knows her man"!)

There are lots of photos, including one of me standing in front of the mural of the Front Porch Campaign.

Thank you to Jim Carney for doing such a great job on the article!

Friday, February 15, 2008

President's Day article & AV glitches

About a month ago, a reporter from the Akron-Beacon Journal came to interview me for an article he said would run on President's Day. We met for a long time and took lots of pictures, so I am anxious to see what the article says!

Be sure to look for it on Monday morning!

I sure am glad this week is over. It has been a long one, and lots of little things have been going just a little bit wrong. Not catastrophic wrong, just annoying wrong.

Like today for example. I went to the First Christian Church to do the "Meyers Lake Revisited" program for the Keenagers. Everything was all set to go, and my remote wouldn't work! It wasn't dead, because the laser pointer was just fine. But it wouldn't move the slides at all. So I had to regroup right next to the projector, so I could manually hit the down arrow key on the laptop. It didn't throw me completely off, but it was a bit awkward perched on the edge of the table like that. And I think I got my shadow onto the screen more than once!

So I brought it back here, Chris set everything up, and it worked EXACTLY FINE. No idea what happened to it.

But on a more positive note, the food was FANTASTIC! Very, very good. We had pot roast and mashed potatoes, with my favorite -- brown gravy! Cherry pie for dessert. Yum!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, and that next week things get back to normal around here!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crazy week!

Wow, what a wacky week this has been!

After the Tea on Monday, I was able to get a large collection of antique vacuum cleaners numbered and photographed so they could be put away. Don, one of my volunteers, had spent the past 6 weeks or so cataloging them. Steve had people on Monday who could lift them all (they are very heavy!!) and put them up in storage. So there I was, all dressed up in my skirt from giving the gallery tour, on the floor numbering vacuum cleaners.

We left work Monday knowing that a winter storm was coming. We all went home with phone numbers that we needed in case we had to close. We did close, and everyone enjoyed a nice day off.

Personally, I worked on designing a poster for Rita, who is directing Throughly Modern Millie at Tusky Valley High School. I do the program for her every year. I was shocked when I realized this is the fourth year I've done that! I also spent my snow day working on a cross stitch called Christmas C0ve (that is one of my favorite hobbies!).

We were totally not expecting the ice on Wednesday. We opened at noon, but we had a school coming from outside of Stark County, so Chris came into work in the morning anyway. Turns out, they weren't closed and still wanted to come! Chris called Hallie and Dave and they got everything worked out.

I was scheduled to do a program for Fine Arts at the Canton Museum of Art. But if they canceled their program, they wouldn't be able to call me because no one was at the museum to answer the phone and I was at home still. So Chris called me with the number for my contact. She called the president and reported back that they had wanted to cancel, but the caterer had already started the food, so they would have had to pay anyway! They decided to press on, and actually had quite a turn out. I did my "Accessorize!" program for them.

Then this morning Hallie, Chris, and I went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for a marketing seminar sponsored by the CVB. Very interesting. The VP of Marketing for Lehman's Hardware spoke.

Tomorrow I am going to the First Christian Church to do "Meyers Lake Revisited." So we will end the week as busy as we began it!

On another personal note, my very first work of fiction was published through the Amazon Shorts program! It is a short story called "The Sugar House," and it takes place along the Erie Canal in Rome, NY, my hometown, in the 1840s.

Click here for more information about it!

I am just thrilled, because I have been trying to get up the courage to pursue fiction writing for quite some time now. It is another dream realized.

Oh, I almost forgot! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tea with the Curator -- Music of the 1920s!

Another fabulous -- and SOLD OUT!! -- tea!

Chris did a great job, and even dressed the part in a gangster suit, complete with hat!

Here are some video clips of the piano pieces, followed by a few photos.


The Charleston!

Yes, We Have No Bananas

Trouble in Mind

And a few photos:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Archival supplies

OK, today I am going crazy trying to find the best deals for the archival supplies we desperately need!

It is very confusing because you have to comparison shop in all the catalogs, because there just isn't one source where you can get the best deal. AND the products are not all exactly the same. Box sizes are different, products are called something different, etc. It isn't exactly comparing apples to oranges -- more like oranges to tangerines.

There are basically only five companies that sell archival products:
  • Gaylord
  • Light Impressions
  • Metal Edge
  • University Products
  • Hollinger Corporation
Right now, I have all five catalogs on my desk, with sticky notes coming out of them all over the place!

You might wonder how we fund these kinds of purchases, because archival supplies are expensive.

With every donation, I send an "Adopt-an-Artifact" form with the Deed of Gift (the legal document that transfers ownership from the donor to the museum). I understand that donors are giving us their valuable artifacts free of charge, rather than selling them to an antique dealer or at auction. But I also believe that our donors are the most likely group to care about properly storing their priceless treasures. And since the museum's collection is constantly growing, it takes more and more resources to maintain it.

Donations can be made in any amount, and every penny goes toward purchasing all kinds of archival supplies, including acid free tissue and boxes, B-72 acryloid lacquer (used to number the artifacts), and even shelving.

Donor's can choose a specific type of artifact, or they can let us choose. The donation can also be made in the memory of a loved one.

Here is the form that I send out, which explains the costs of properly preserving and maintaining the museum's collection (click on the image to enlarge):

In the past we have also identified a specific storage project and listed it in our Capital & Replacement brochure. Most recently, we priced the cost of re-housing our hat collection in acid-free materials, and a donor sponsored the entire project.

I usually save the Adopt-an-Artifact money for several months and place a big order all at once. We save on shipping that way.

But it has been a LONG TIME since I ordered anything, and we are pretty much out of everything! I am planning to order polyethylene bags, boxes in many different sizes, white cotton gloves, magnetic dusting cloths, and more B-72.

I guess I better get back to poring over these catalogs! This stuff isn't going to order itself...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

White House Pets

John F. Kennedy with Caroline, John Jr. and Macaroni outside of the Oval Office, 1962. Photo Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

George W. Bush's dog Spot playing on the White House Lawn, 2001.
Photo courtesy of The White House.

The dates have been finalized -- we are hosting the traveling exhibit White House Pets from April 11 through June 29!

The exhibit was organized by the White House Historical Association and the White House Curator’s Office in cooperation with the National Park Service. It consists of six large panels, talking about the role animals have played in the lives of the presidents and their families.

The exhibit will be displayed in the Second Floor Lobby.

We're very excited to host this! It should be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bridal show invitation

The invitations for the bridal show have been printed and are on their way here. We will mail them out soon.

In the meantime, here is a sneak peek of the invitation! (Click on each one to enlarge)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Models and chocolate

What a title for a blog post!

Today I am working on scheduling model appointments for the bridal show. Almost all the dresses are here now, so the next step is getting our models in to try them on and see what fits. There are so many tiny dresses! We have to find lots of small women who can fit into them!

Yesterday I did my program "Sweet Stuff: The Story of Chocolate" for a senior group at Otterbein Church in Navarre. Today I am doing the same program for St. Mary's in Massillon. I was planning to go out 12th St, but everything is flooded because of the rain. Fun, fun -- I have to trek down Tusc instead.

My chocolate program is sponsored by Anastasiades Exclusive Chocolates in North Canton. Owners Sam and Larry Anastas provide me with chocolate to hand out to the people who attend my chocolate program. Thanks to them, I don't create a chocolate craving that I can't help fix!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Capital Campaign

I haven't really talked about the $4 million Capital Campaign that the museum launched last fall.

Thanks to an excellent article Gary Brown wrote for this morning's paper, I guess I don't have to!

Click here to read more about our campaign, and what projects we are going to be able to accomplish when we reach our goal!

And thank you AGAIN, Gary, for all you do to publicize our projects!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Clip from Robin Swoboda's show

There is now a link to our segment on That's Life with Robin Swoboda!

Click here to see it!

It was a lot of fun, and hopefully lots of people saw it!

Friday, February 1, 2008

McKinley and the car

Here is a video of what Chris said last night about President McKinley's first experience in a car!