"Creative Gathering" at Western Historic Trails Center Sept. 11-13

For immediate release August 28, 2008


Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

(COUNCIL BLUFFS) – Music, literature and history will take center stage at the Western Historic Trails Center’s annual “Creative Gathering” Sept. 11-13, 2008.

The “Creative Gathering” kicks off 1-4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008, with a Bread and Jam, a weekly event that invites the public to join an open musical “jam” while enjoying tasty homemade bread. An Evening Jam session will be held 7-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, 2008.

“Creative Gathering” shifts into full gear at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008:

1 p.m.
Evelyn Birkby will present “Writing – one word at a time – leading up to her latest book, Witching for William.” The book is part mystery, part who-dun-it, part genealogy and part adventure. Evelyn will talk about what she learned as she did genealogical research. She includes tips in her book so readers can do the same, and includes recipes she gathered during her journeys.

Since 1949, Birkby has written a weekly column on rural Iowa life. The column, Up a Country Lane, was first written for the Shenandoah Evening Sentinel and currently for its successor, The Valley News Today. Since she started writing the column almost 60 years ago, Birkby has the remarkable record of never having missed her weekly deadline.

Birkby was also a “radio homemaker,” broadcasting words of wisdom over a five-state area on radio station KMA in Shenandoah, Iowa. For more than a quarter century, she was a regular monthly columnist for Kitchen-Klatter magazine, and broadcast on the syndicated Kitchen-Klatter radio program. She still airs a monthly radio visit with the KMA listening audience.

 2 p.m.
Co-authors Bill Ramsey and Betty Shrier will present “Doorway to Freedom: The Story of David Kaufmann-Merchant-Benefactor-Rescuer.” In 1904, Kaufmann became an immigrant citizen of Grand Island, Nebraska. “…..David Kaufmann saved more than 80 families from the Holocaust; we believe he is the only individual American to risk his reputation and fortune in this effort. From those he rescued, 15-20 families share their memories of David Kaufmann and what happened following their arrival in America….. the families express their gratitude and relate how “Uncle David” continues to influence their lives today.”

The authors will have copies of their books available for purchase and autographs.

3 p.m.
The Fish Hollow String Band – Sheryl Cuba, Becky Latka, Marti Nerenstone and Carol McBryant – comprise the cast of this traditional string band. They execute old-time fiddle tunes with skill and a wry sense of humor. Fiddle, banjo, guitar and doghouse bass are their tools and fun is their product.

WHTC is at 3434 Richard Downing Avenue, off of 24th Street (Exit 1B) south of Interstate 80 in Council Bluffs. More information is available at 712-366-4900.


The Western Historic Trails Center is operated by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical spreservation and education efforts of others throughout the state.


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