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Act!vated Stories
Family friendly folktales and travel tales
Act!vated Stories is presented by Act!vated Story Theatre a national touring theatre troupe for children and their families. Since 1988, the Act!vated Actors have toured the continental US and beyond, bringing live educational theatre to students at schools and libraries. Podcasting comedic folktales to you from somewhere on the road once a month or so since 2006.

May 31, 2007

"The Drummer Boy" is our story this week, and no, it's not a Christmas Story. It's a possibly true tale from The Civil War about a young man who receives a valuable lesson in tolerance and forgiveness. And by the way, the drummer on our soundtrack gets an assist from Daniel Wilcox, the drummer in the rock band to which Zephyr belongs.

We recount not only our experiences with many significant Civil War sites over the years, but also our recent visit to Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa. This complex sprawling over many acres features both indoor and outdoor exhibits and demonstrations, including an Ioway Indian Farm from around 1700; an 1850 settlers' homestead; a farmhouse from 1900; a farming museum; and an entire recreated village from around 1875. The latter includes an elaborately detailed bank, newspaper office, milliner's shop, and other businesses. And since we were visiting the facility on Memorial Day, we also witnessed a procession down the center of town to the cemetery, where a ceremony was held honoring veterans in general and particularly those of the Civil War. And this was followed by a baseball game, played with rules and uniforms from a bygone era when there were no gloves, no multimillion dollar contracts, no unsportsmanlike behavior, and no bloated egos.

Strolling about Living History Farms (well, you're transported part of the time by a dusty tractor-drawn trolley), you get to ask questions of guides in period costume, and see how our ancestors lived up close. You can see their tools, their livestock, their buildings, and when we were there we had plenty of opportunities to witness how lunch was cooked on an open fire by various pioneers from several different eras. Zephyr even had a chance to help out on the farm, dumping a bucket of corn into a one-horse-power grinder. Somehow, we don't think he was persuaded to make a career of it.

And speaking of Zephyr, he figures prominently in another tale we spin this week. And this one, unfortunately, is quite true. Or perhaps fortunately, since it ended well--namely with everyone getting a good laugh.

Happy Listening
Dennis (Narrator, General Lyon), Kimberly (Mother, soldier) and Zephyr (Drummer Boy, rest stop attendant)

P.S. We found another podcast by another family you might enjoy "Dancing with Elephants"