Excerpts from filmed interviews with local people relating their history and the history of Blanco will be featured at a presentation Thursday, June 5 at 7 p.m. at the Learning Center auditorium, across from the elementary school.
In addition to these films from the collection of the library’s Oral History Committee, a “dramatic re-telling” of the infamous Callahan-Blassingame Incident will be presented in a salute to Blanco’s Sesquicentennial Celebration.
Subjects of the filmed interviews include Roy Finch, Stanley Lane, Lawrence Coffee, Leroy Coffee, Stanley Glasscock, Leroy Klinger, Bernice West, the Lindeman Sisters, and the late Roy Byars.
“We want to acquaint the public with what we are doing to preserve our history and paint an oral picture of life in Blanco through the years,” explained Barnett Cline, chair of the Oral History Committee. “As we continue to collect interviews, we will be compiling a legacy for the community. A dedicated computer in the library will allow anyone to view the films,” Cline continued.
Perhaps the most sensational incident in early Blanco’s history, what has been termed the “Callahan-Blassingame Incident,” occurred in l856 when, in a shoot-out, two of the town’s founders were killed and the father and son killers summarily executed without trial. Ron Houston will narrate the story, and Maggie Goodman and Trevor McGuire will portray Mary and Calvin Blassingame.
Entitled “My Story, Your Story, Our Story,” this program is part of the library’s One Book, One Community effort, based upon this year’s book selection, “Listening Is an Act of Love.”
Several recent programs at the library have focused on the art of listening as a way of recording personal histories. On May 8, a panel of local women discussed their lives in Blanco during the Depression and World War II in conjunction with the library’s photographic exhibit “Rural Texas Women at Work, l930-l960.” On May 22, local people described their childhoods and remembrances of a long-ago Blanco in a very amusing event called “Growing Up in Blanco.”
Tomorrow night’s presentation will be a culmination of the One Book, One Community project for this year. “These films clearly indicate that each of us has a story to share, and by listening to each other we discover “My Story, Your Story, Our Story,” said Jan Redmond, library director.
Copies of “Listening Is an Act of Love” are available in the library. A product of the Storycorps Project, begun in New York City after 9/11, the book is a compilation of stories of everyday people, recorded with one talking and another listening. These stories have been described as “the raw materials of life.”