Thursday, April 21, 2011

56 Years Ago Today

The Delaware Republican Express in its April 28, 1955 issue reported that "The Bovina Community Hall was filled to capacity last Thursday evening, April 21, when friends and neighbors assembled with residents of the town itself to see 'Bovina Center, My Home Town,' portrayed by members of the Bovina Center Recreational Club.  Presented by pantomime, narrative and the projection of colored slides on a movie screen, the story was unfolded."

Vera Storie and her brother Fletcher Davidson were the promoters of this pageant and likely wrote the script. [NOTE added January 17, 2015: further research has disclosed that the script likely was written by Jane Hilson (1891-1967), not Vera or Fletcher, though they may have contributed.] Vera played the role of a grandmother, Rachel Scott, telling her granddaughter (played by Vera's real granddaughter, Judy Vandenbord) the story of Bovina while local residents donned costumes and acted out scenes from the story.  Music was provided by Mrs. Fletcher Davidson, Mrs. Marian Spear and Mrs. Richard Crosley.  Partway into the show, the Community Hall was plunged into darkness.  The audience did a group sing for a while, but when it was realized that the power was not coming back on any time soon, a fire department jeep was driven to the front of the community hall.  The headlights were focused onto the stage and the pageant resumed.

In my Bovina town files are the notes from the presentation, including the participants, so here's a rough list of the people who participated (in no particular order):

Bill Inman, Norton Forest, Margaret Hilson, Leonard Cairns, Dick Roberts, Emily Archibald, Christine Hilson, Ruth Anne McPherson, Janet Hoy, Marilyn Hall, Mary Vandenbord, Anne Cairns, Marianne Hilson, Jimmy Hilson, Jim Hilson, Barbara Boggs, Bobby Boggs, Gladys Lay, Richard Jardine, Beulah Decker, Mrs. Reinertsen (probably Sophie Reinertsen, but they also could mean Millie Reinertsen), Mrs. Oelsner, Marie Reinertsen, Ron Russell, Dave Russell, June Reinertsen, Ruth Monroe, Jane Hilson, Helena Hilson, Mary Jardine

And here's how the program broke down:

I - My Home Town - To My Children - Rachel Scott
II - The First Settlers
III - The First Settler of the Present Village
IV - Early Education
V - The Churches
VI - The Forming of the Town
VII - Industries
VIII - The Anti-Rent Trouble
IX - Teunis
X - Home Life
XI - Outstanding Citizens
XII - Some Accomplishments of Later Years
XIII - Dates Not Easily Forgotten
XIV - War

The program ended with a salute to soldiers of the Second World War and the audience singing "God Bless America."

Over the next year on the 21st of each month, I will post on this blog sections of the script that was used for the program.

A final note:  Unfortunately, my parents were among the absentees for this pageant.  They woke up early that morning and made a mad dash to the Delhi Hospital.  They got a flat tire just as they arrived and a few minutes later, while my dad was changing the tire,  my mom gave birth - to me, as it so happens.  Sort of explains my absence too.

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