MUSEUM BLOG: Get your ‘Cemetery Tales’ tickets; take online survey

Once upon a time. A familiar beginning to stories we heard when as children we sat upon the lap of a loved one at bedtime. Later on in life, we again learned about how stories would engage and impact us when we encountered Anne Shirley (with an “e”) in Anne of Green Gables, The Redwall Series and for our family a particular favorite series called The Happy Hollisters.

Stories have a way of taking us to another time and place to experience an intimate and personal look at a favorite character. We hear about how they may have encountered some of the difficult situations in their life and how they overcame or found a solution. Stories inspire us! Sometimes they are fictional, and sometimes the experience is based on a real person, place or time.


As we wind down with only a few more days left before the 2013 Cemetery Tales performances, I am once again reminded of the mission and purpose of The History Museum and specifically this unique community event. It’s all about stories.

With the finishing touches being put on the costumes and the last 120 tickets going fast, Cemetery Tales has become a favorite annual event for so many. I have even heard some people stop by to reserve their tickets and state that they consider themselves “Cemetery Tales groupies” and have attended every performance since it began five years ago.

With some of the events that have transpired at the museum over the past month, it has warmed my heart that so many people love and support the museum and this program and are showing that support by being willing to go the extra mile to adhere to the rather cumbersome ticket purchasing process this year. On behalf of the museum board and volunteers, I want to say thank you. Your dedication to this event has made us even more adamant that it will be a Cemetery Tales to remember.

As the scripts are finished and the actors are beginning to rehearse on-site, I am reminded once again of how important it is to preserve and tell the stories of those who have passed on before us. A few of the names from this year are familiar, but several are people who I am sure would not have their story told if it were not for this event. They are not well-known or famous for any particular thing. They are just people, like you and me, who are going about our everyday life doing what we are passionate about and hoping in some small way that our life in passing has made a difference.

There are still tickets left. Contact the museum to reserve yours, mail your check to Hood River County Budget and Finance, and then your tickets will either be mailed to you or made available at the door. If you need help placing your order or have trouble with the process just give us a call (541-386-6772) and we’ll make it happen.

If you want to go the extra mile and be involved, we are still looking for tour guides and lighting crew members. Contact Carly at to sign up and get further details.


With fall and winter rapidly approaching, the museum has implemented reduced fall hours. We are currently open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. We hope to be able to add back in our weekend hours by the end of the month. We have been struggling to fill the weekend host schedule after the loss of a beloved member of our museum family, Doug Fry, who passed away in August from a hiking accident.

If you have a few hours to spare on either Saturday or Sunday, please connect with Carly to find out about training and scheduling. We will keep you posted on when the museum will once again be open regularly on weekends.

In the meantime, if you need to visit or access the museum on a weekend, please give us a call and we’ll make arrangements for you.

Fall also means school is back in full swing and at The History Museum we are gearing up and ready for school tours and educational programs. Carly is available for scheduling a special classroom visit to the museum or can also provide quality unique experiences with our in-class visitation program. Tours also include groups and assisted living facilities. Call for more info.

The exhibit team, collection team and education teams are all working together to develop and plan interesting and special exhibit themes as well as programs and events for kids, families and adults of all ages. We are looking for input from you — our museum family — to determine which day might work best for specific programs and needs.

If you could take a quick moment to visit our museum website, click on “community event” link on the left and then click the “fall winter program survey” link to complete a quick little survey to help us continue our planning. Then stay tuned for a complete listing of what will be happening at the museum over the next six months.


In closing, I will mention a very special exhibit that will be opening soon at The History Museum. Many of you know from visiting our photo blog site ( that we have thousands of wonderful images taken by Alva Day. These images are a unique glimpse into everyday life in the early 1900s to the mid-1950s. The pictures depict fishing trips, hiking, and home life as well as an eclectic look at the electrical revolution.

With the Alva Day collection, it is true that a “picture is worth a thousand words.” Not only are we bringing Alva to life in this year’s Cemetery Tales (portrayed by veteran actor Aaron Nice), but we are selecting a few of our favorite images to enlarge and display in the museum’s atrium gallery for the next few months.

The images will not only be on display, but you, our friends and guests, will also have an opportunity to comment and leave your thoughts about each image. It’s kind of a community participation style of museum display and we’re hoping that you will take time to stop by, look at Hood River through Alva’s eyes and add your own memories or thoughts to the display boards by each picture.

Stay tuned for information on the opening date soon. And if you missed the opening of the Luhr Jensen Exhibit Gallery that was held in August, you will want to take time to stop by and see this fantastic display. It is beautiful, unique and interesting — and we can’t thank Phil Jensen enough for his continued support of The History Museum and for providing this wonderful exhibit.

We hope to see you at Cemetery Tales or at the museum soon. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners