Friends, since our last talk, we have still been receiving great compliments on our Harvey Award presentation to Carol Burnett. I was honored to receive a note from Ms. Burnett thanking us all for her time in Indiana and at the “Jimmy.” Her visit to us and the media attention it received has given the museum a nice spike in visitation over the last few weeks. As we move into the middle of the month of November, things are becoming a bit quieter on the museum floor. The great autumn colors that Indiana County offers to “leaf peepers” have come and gone, and the start of winter is upon us.
The museum has been decorated for the season and our gift shop is stocked with a range of Stewart and Indiana specific items to help with your Christmas and Holiday shopping. A visit to our shop does not require museum admission, but if you don’t visit the museum this time, we know your stop in to shop will be enough of an invitation to have you return to enjoy and be moved by our presentation on the singular life and career of Indiana native, James Maitland Stewart.
On Friday night the 21st the museum will partner with Downtown Indiana and its “Light-Up Night” event. The downtown of the county seat comes alive with the sights and sounds of the Holiday Season with a great parade, and activities for all, including the arrival of Santa himself!
Of course, the holiday classic, that for many younger folks is their first meeting with Jimmy Stewart, “It’s A Wonderful Life” will be the featured matinee at the museum from the 22nd of November through 28 December, Saturdays and Sundays at 1 pm. I think it is always interesting to note that this film, so much a part of our annual holiday traditions, was not a box-office success. Just following the war, it did not achieve the acclaim that the film now enjoys, till later in its life. We have also learned this year, through Museum friend, George Rothacker, that the film originally had a different score, deemed too oppressive by the studio, the score was shelved. Mr. Rothacker is working appropriate channels, with our support, to see how we might bring the film and its original score together for the public.
Yes, “Wonderful Life”, the perfect Holiday film, where James Stewart, as dear George Bailey struggles to learn the most meaningful life lessons of all: that each life has meaning and value, and that each life has a responsibility to all others. Now, that’s a gift that can keep on giving! Please remember the museum during the holidays and do what you can to help us keep on giving all that James Stewart the actor and James Stewart the person has to offer us.