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  1. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky


    The 14th annual Howard Museum festival is now history! We were blessed to have beautiful weather both days and, although the crowds weren't as large as last year, a good time seemed to be had by all. Nearly 600 people went through the museum each day. Many attendees come for the booths, food and entertainment and don't come into the house, so I haven't heard the final tally on gate admissions. Quite a number of visitors told me that they were "local" and it was their first time to see the museum. Also had some tell me they were doing local events in lieu of driving long distances in the interest of saving expensive gasoline! It was good to see "river people" like Capts. Bill & Darlene Judd, Jo Ann Schoen, Travis Vasconcelos, James Hall, Capt. Don Sanders & son Jonathan, Tom & Carol Schiffer, Jim Reising, Kenny Howe (who has agreed to serve on the museum board) Chuck Parrish and others. The "Women at the Wheel" program (presented several times) under the able direction of Janice Molnar, was a "hit". Well researched vignettes of Capts. Mary Miller, Mary B. Greene, Callie French and Blanche Leathers by costumed re-enactors were very nicely presented and greatly enjoyed by the large audiences. Organ grinder & former DELTA QUEEN purser Ted Guillaum (who graciously donates his time and talent each year) provided lilting melodies and handed out certificates to those who tried their hand at organ grinding. The husband/wife team of John & Gwen Noftsger ("The Ohio River Minstrels") gave a great performance (Gwen also portrayed Capt. Callie French) of river music as did former DQ entertainers Barton and Para. "The Big Muddy String Band" with BELLE OF LOUISVILLE pilot Capt. Bill Ray -- always entertaining and a real crowd pleaser -- performed John Hartford favorites and other toe tappin' tunes under the big tent on Sunday afternoon. Inside the mansion I had the "second deck" all by myself both days. It's always fun to meet and greet the multitude of visitors, but it's exhausting for this ol' curator (who started volunteering at the museum in 1968 at age 14 -- GOOD GRIEF!) to monitor all the rooms and dispense information too! A great need for the festival is MORE VOLUNTEERS! If anyone is so inclined for next year (always the third weekend of May) we would welcome your assistance! Many THANKS to all who attended and to those who helped in ways great and small. A long whistle salute to the museum board members/staff and volunteer committee who work long and hard to make the festival happen. Don't forget our "Paddlin' into the Past" program on Saturday, July 1st at 3:00 PM., featuring a sight and sound program on the history of the steamer IDLEWILD/AVALON presented by steamboat buffs Dave and Jonathan Tschiggfrie of Dubuque, Iowa. Visit the website at for more information!
    Last edited by Keith Norrington; 05-22-2006 at 10:43 AM.

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