Friday, May 30, 2014

Meet Virginia Reed on June 27th

Recently I've been corresponding with a fifth-generation Californian, Cathryn Fairlee of Cotati, who has ancestors who arrived in California in the 1850s on both sides of her family. (One settled in Marysville -- named after Donner Party survivor Mary Murphy Covillaud; the other was buried in the cemetery of Mission Dolores in San Francisco -- as was Mary's brother-in-law, survivor William Foster. Just can't get away from the Donner Party associations!) Cathryn's a professional storyteller and will present a "Chautauqua" telling the Donner Party story as Virginia Reed at the Veteran’s Hall, 10214 High Street, Truckee, on June 27 at 7:00 pm. ($10 donation.)

Parenthetical digression: this use of  "Chautauqua" threw me for a loop when I first heard it some time ago; it brought to mind the summer camps and traveling shows that provided education and entertainment for rural Americans in the late 1800s and early 1900s. More recently, "Chautauqua" has also come to mean a performance by someone who adopts the persona and garb of a historical character to tell his or her story.

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