The Wood County Historical Center & Museum in Bowling Green, Ohio, is anxiously awaiting the arrival of “Between Fences” to open April 9, 2010. After an introduction to the exhibit at Ohio's first destination in Sydney, we felt that one of the most moving components was reading and talking about books written around the theme of fences. When we approached the Wood County District Public Library with our programming ideas, Maria Simon, who runs the 'The Children's Place' section of the library, was delighted to participate and full of suggestions. She immediately organized three reading programs during April (when we will have the exhibit) for readers of all ages. For the young reader, she selected “Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy” by Gary Schmidt about a preacher's son who moves to small town, befriends a girl, and together they stand up against racism. For another program that pairs child and adult readers, she felt that “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain would be a hit. "This classic story will be a wonderful book to discuss, particularly the fence whitewashing chapter! " Maria wrote in her early correspondence.
We have also found that our friends and neighbors have their own stories to share about fences, so we compiled them into a six-minute video about fences in our community of Northwest Ohio, "Between Fences Comes to Wood County," written and produced by Michelle Carlisle with Defiance College. Take a look ...
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and we found that to be true. We put out a call for fence-related photos for an online gallery on FLICKR.com and were pleased with the variety and creativity of responses. Each photo told a story about the perception of fences; some were of a welcoming gossip fence or a tranquil afternoon, others the finality of a resting place. Check out our FENCES on FLICKR gallery @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/infirmary
As the days before our exhibit premier become fewer, we are excited at how many community groups and media outlets are taking an interest in fences. We are looking forward to working with local video stores, college professors, parks, and the Convention & Visitors Bureau to continue telling stories and “mending fences” in and around our community.
-- Kelli Kling, Wood County Historical Center & Museum, Bowling Green, Ohio.