Monday, June 9, 2014

2014 Oral History Essay Contest Awards

I have just gotten back from the San Lorenzo Valley Middle School where an all-school assembly was held to recognize students' achievements.  I was so pleased to not only be included in this end-of-the-year school assembly, but I was first on the program.  I gave out two cash awards, both to 6th graders, who wrote on the theme of local people who either work or have a business in SLV as an extension of our Smithsonian exhibit, 'The Way We Worked'.  As part of my presentation I read a synopsis of each essay in front of the school student body, then called each winner up front to receive their check.  I was told that the presentation would be a surprise to the winners, who certainly received loud and long applause from their fellow students.  I also took the opportunity at the end of the presentation to encourage participation next year.   I really enjoyed being a part of one of our local school's activities and to recognize our youth's interest in the museum and preserving our local history.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Crystals, Caves, & Kilns exhibit

I always look forward to learning something new about our San Lorenzo Valley.  Sometimes when you hear a certain story repeated often, a certain historical person is discussed frequently, you wonder - - what is new to add to our local history?  Our current exhibit, 'Crystals, Caves, and Kilns', is bringing new history out into the open and our visitors are excited about that.  This exhibit not only has a video showing cavers going down into a local cave (yes, we do have several caves in the area) and the animals that live in them, but also some before and after photos of local lime producing areas.  I didn't realize what I was driving by on a weekly basis, but will pay attention now.   There is a hands-on area for children to study, handle, and learn about the different types of rocks and boy! do they have fun weighting the rocks, looking at them through magnifying glasses, and just feeling the differences.  This is a very complete, comprehensive, and enjoyable display of our local limestone and marble industry.   I'm glad to see such a rewarding partnership between museums and business.