When I think of fall, I think of my mother-in-law, Meg Nice. She had a particular love of the beautiful orange and red leaves of the viney maples found high on the coast range passes.

The year she passed away, we made a little out-of-the-way trip to cut some branches to take to her in the hospital, but just a few days later on my husband’s birthday, she passed on. I can’t see the colorful trees without thinking of her. She left behind a legacy of hard work, frugal living and “grit and gumption” — and she is greatly missed.

Which leads me to thinking about Cemetery Tales. In Jennie Shoemaker’s story (portrayed by Kate Dougherty and her daughter Keeley Brownbeck), she talked about the grit and gumption that it took to be an early settler in Oregon. Think of the work it took to clear the land without the benefit of backhoes and modern farm equipment. It took someone with a spirit of perseverance.

So perseverance is my word of the day. If you attended Cemetery Tales this year, you know what I mean. Giving your character’s story 24 times in the cold and pouring-down rain takes perseverance. Continuing to serenade guests even after your “tent” falls down under the weight of the water takes perseverance. Shuffling and rearranging the program to fit more people into tiny, hopefully dry spaces takes perseverance.

Guiding a tour group through the dark in torrential rain takes perseverance. Removing all the totally disintegrated wet paper bags and replacing them overnight with glass jars to hold the 200 candles takes perseverance. And purchasing tickets to the performance even given some very strict payment guidelines takes perseverance.

To all who acted, played, drove bus, lit candles, served food, guided tours and helped process ticket orders and payments: We say Thank you! Once again, Cemetery Tales was a huge success and it’s only possible due to all the many people that it takes to make it happen.

Yes, we know there are always little things we will continue to work on to make it better and different every year, but overall we take great pride in what we were able to accomplish for this community on Sept. 27, 28 and 29. A true legacy story of perseverance, grit and gumption took place — our gift to our community as we approach the fall Thanksgiving season.

So now that Cemetery Tales is behind us we can take a deep breath and start to think about what’s next at The History Museum. Most immediately, we will be opening a very special mini-exhibit of Alva Day photographs in the Atrium Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 3, from 2-5 p.m. (See 3 to Go, Page 1, for details.)

Then coming up on Nov. 5-8, we will persevere through a backlog of artifacts that have been donated to the museum for the permanent collection. If you’ve always wondered about what goes on behind the scenes in the “life of an artifact,” please join us.

Training will be provided on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 10 a.m. with the work session starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday work sessions will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about this and all volunteer opportunities at the museum contact Carly at or call 541-386-6772.

Whether you are interested in artifacts, exhibits, research, events, education or being a museum host, there is a place for everyone at The History Museum.

In closing, I want to send hugs and love out to the friends and family of Georgia Linn who passed away Oct. 17. Georgia, or “Joey” as she was known to many, was a longtime volunteer at The History Museum and past museum board member president.

Georgia was on the committee that interviewed and hired me more than 14 years ago. She was a woman of dedication and perseverance — right up to the end — and she passed that legacy on to all of us here at The History Museum. She will be missed.

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