Photographer Linda Staats was one of two Artists-in-Residence in 2008.
Artists in National Parks
Artists have been part of national parks since the 1870s when famed painters played a vital role in documenting the majestic landscapes of the West. It was through their works of art that many first saw these special places in America. Today artists are working in more than 40 national parks through Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Programs.
The residencies at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site allow selected artists to communicate the park's national significance through their artwork. A selection of visual arts contributions by the park's Artists-in-Residence are displayed at the visitor center and at the West Branch Public Library.
2013 Artists-in-Residence at Herbert Hoover NHS
Artist Vivian Hyelim Kim visited the first and second grade art classes at Herbert Hoover Elementary School in West Branch. She taught them how to cut folded paper pattern, with which they decorated their classroom wall.
Vivian Hyelim Kim
April 2-May 25, 2013
Vivian Hyelim Kim was born in South Korea and was raised in the U.S. She received her MFA in Painting from Pratt Institute in New York and BFA from Arizona State University Herberger College of Fine Arts. She has had solo shows at Chashama Gallery in New York City and in Seoul, South Korea. She has also participated in numerous group shows and is a recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, New York Mills Residency, Paducah Artist in Residence, Vermont Studio Center and the Contemporary Artists Center. "I wish to observe the plants, flowers, and other organic elements at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site," said Ms. Kim, "and use their forms and patterns in my paper cut outs."
"Prairie" by Vivian Hyelim Kim
Vivian Hyelim Kim
Writer Emily Melhorn in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in California.
September 12-November 2, 2013
Emily Melhorn is a writer currently living in Los Angeles. She was a former journalist for The Gettysburg Times, The Evening Sun, and NoHo News. Ms. Melhorn wrote a column "Living the Dream" for many years for The Gettysburg Times. She has had short stories and plays published in Red Weather, received the John V.A. Weaver Prize in Poetry, and Fiction Honorable Mention for Hayden's Ferry Review. Ms. Melhorn was Artist-in-Residence at Homestead National Monument of America in 2012. She is looking forward to writing at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and adding to the depth of work about Herbert Hoover. "I would like to put my writings about Herbert Hoover in the context of current issues and events," said Ms. Melhorn.
Selected Former Artists-in-Residence
Steven S. Walker at work on one of his landscape paintings.
Steven S. Walker
July 29-August 11, 2012
Born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and raised in Virginia, Steven S. Walker has been creating artwork for most of his life. A former freelance illustrator and college instructor, Mr. Walker found peace of mind and inspiration painting the back roads and rustic barns of Virginia. He has exhibited several solo shows and in various national exhibitions such as the 2012 Salon International and the Richeson 75 Landscape Show. Mr. Walker resides in Westerville, Ohio with his loving wife and biggest fan, Evelyn.
"Edge of the Prairie", 2012 by Steven S. Walker
Steven S. Walker
Photographer Missy Gaido Allen teaches kids about nature photography in the tallgrass prairie.
Missy Gaido Allen
August 6-10, 2012
Born in Houston, Texas in 1968, Missy Gaido Allen studied studio art and art history in the United States and Italy. She holds a Master's in Art History from Rice University and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Iowa. Ms. Allen's images are in the permanent collections of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and multiple private collections. She has exhibited her work widely in solo and group exhibitions and has licensed images to Sony and Hasselblad. Ms. Allen lives in Iowa with her family.
"Tallgrass Prairie" by Missy Gaido Allen
Missy Gaido Allen
Writer M.S. Coe and "Poetry Sprouts" write poems on construction paper.
July 4-July 20, 2011
M.S. Coe grew up in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. She worked at the University of Arizona Poetry Center and as a reader for Sonora Review and is currently an assistant editor of Epoch literary magazine. She teaches English and creative writing at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where she will receive her MFA degree. Her fiction often explores the disassociation characters feel when placed into strange environments and how they reconcile with their surroundings.
Writer Gaynell Gavin led a nonfiction writing workshop at Herbert Hoover NHS in 2011.
May 28-June 20, 2011
Gaynell Gavin's prose and poetry has been published in many literary journals and anthologies, including Fourth Genre, North Dakota Quarterly, The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review (Bellevue Literary Press), Nebraska Presence (Backwaters Press), and Best New Poets 2006 (Samovar Press). Her poetry chapbook, Intersections, was published by Main Street Rag Publishing. Her essay, "What We Have," published in Prairie Schooner, was included among "Notable Essays " in The Best American Essays 2009. This essay, like much of her work, is grounded in the Midwest. She is originally from Illinois and is a faculty member at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
"Back Door at Hoover Cottage" by Patricia Rottino Cummins
Patricia Rottino Cummins
Patricia Rottino Cummins
Oct. 17-24, 2009
Patricia Rottino Cummins of Miami, Florida, has been an art educator for over thirty years in the Miami Dade Public Schools. Her works of art are inspired by local landscapes, as well as by the vistas she has seen and photographed during her many travels and National Park residencies. "Lately I find myself closely concentrating on each landscape," said Ms. Cummins, "and discovering that unique element that interprets the moment, feeling, and importance of the subject."
Writer Laura Madeline Wiseman exhibited her research at Hooverfest in 2009.
Laura Madeline Wiseman
Laura Madeline Wiseman
July 14-August 2, 2009
Laura Madeline Wiseman is a PhD student in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Ms. Wiseman's great-great-great-grandmother Matilda Fletcher Wiseman, an Iowa native who lectured across the Midwest in the 19th century, inspires her current research and writing project. "These poems capture not only her life and work," said Ms. Wiseman, "but also the natural landscape of the American West, where she was born and where she lived most of her life."
She waits inside the optical illusion of the meetinghouse. Men assemble
on the right side, while the other gender sits with the children on the left.
She folds her hands in prayer. Like others in the town, this church’s
design is simple, created in necessity, lamps, windows, doors, a coal stove.
But here, men and women divide the interior space by partition,
a wall which slides up and down with effort. It retains the voices
of each separate sex. Silence allows anyone, a minister, a man,
or woman to preach, to break the morning hours they hold.
The partition divides the meetinghouse and people into symmetrical copies.
She glances over the wooden barrier as if into a mirror to see her reflection
distorted by mustache. A man in black trousers and jacket sits.
He doesn’t notice her stare, the shock echo in the lines around her eyes.
She sees the delusion of it, the division between them.
She opens her hands, inhales. She begins to speak.
Radio dramatist Will Anderson writes a script while chatting with visitors at the Visitor Center.
July 7-July 20, 2008
Will Anderson, assistant professor at Central Michigan University, is an award-winning radio dramatist, with regional and national awards, including two National Audio Theater Festival awards in 2007 and 2003, and the 2006 National Broadcasting Society Region 2 Best Comedy Award.
During his residency at Herbert Hoover NHS, Dr. Anderson wrote the radio drama script "The Son of West Branch, America's Great Humanitarian". His production of that script won an Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association in 2012. The script is available for free download. Please contact us if you are interested in using it in a production.
MUSIC: DRAMATIC MUSIC UP AND UNDER NARR: Hail Columbia. Our land of freedom and opportunity. Their futures lying uncast, each man born to shape and mold his own destiny. Fate left unchecked, the mettle of the man weaves a fabric of tiny moments into the tapestry of a life well spent or squandered. MUSIC: SEGUE TO MORE PENSIVE MUSIC NARR: Greatness forged from the fire of choices and tempered in resolve of betterment for the brotherhood of mankind brings us to the threshold of a modest cabin on the Iowa prairie. SFX: SEGUE TO WIND SOUNDS OUTSIDE The year is 1876. Act I: The sick little boy SFX: SEGUE TO SOUND OF CHILD COUGHING TAD: Ma, Bert looks so sick. Why is he coughing so much? Will he be getting’ better soon? HULDA: No, Tad. Looks like the croup still has its hold on him. TAD: Poor Bert. Wish we could make him better. SFX: SOUND OF KETTLE BOILING HULDA: The kettle calls. If we give him a bottle of something warm, it might help loosen up that cough. SFX: SPOON IN TEACUP AND POURING OF WATER SFX: HERBERT COUGHS SOME MORE TAD: It’s not fair that Bert’s so sick. He’s only two. HULDA: That’s just like the croup. When you get older like you, Tad, there isn’t much croup to get. TAD: But Bert’s gonna be all right, isn’t he, Ma? HULDA: I’ve sent for your Uncle John. He’s the best doctor around these parts. Other than that, we have to put our faith in God’s hands now. Now, Tad, I need you to watch Bert while I go out to the root cellar to get some beets for supper. TAD: All right, Ma. SFX: SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS WALKING AWAY AND DOOR OPENING THEN CLOSING SFX: HERBERT COUGHING SOME MORE TAD: There there, Bert. Have a bit more of this tea. That’ll make you feel better, won’t it? SFX: SOUND OF MORE, STRONGER COUGHING AND BABY WAILING TAD: What is it, Bert? What’s wrong? (yelling off mic) Ma! Ma! Come quick – something’s wrong with Bert! SFX: SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS OFF MIC AND THEN DOOR SWINGING OPEN HULDA: What is it, Tad? TAD: (panicked) It’s Bert, Ma. I was giving him a drink of tea and then he started coughing and then he just kinda slumped over. HULDA: Hand him to me, Tad, and listen carefully. Are you listening carefully, Tad? TAD: Yes, Ma. HULDA: Good. I want you to run as fast as you can over to the blacksmith shop and get Father. Tell him we need him right away. Do you understand? TAD: Yes, Ma. SFX: SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS RUNNING AND DOOR OPENING AND SLAMMING HULDA: Heavenly Father, if it be Thy will to take my son, let it be so. But I pray Thee if it is not, bring him back to me. SFX: SOUND OF DOOR BURSTING OPEN THEN TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS TAD: I brought Pa, Ma! He’s right behind me! JESSE: What happened, Hulda? Give the little general to me. HULDA: John is on his way with his doctor’s bag, but it’s too late. He’s not breathing, Jesse. JESSE: No, he is not. I’m afraid he is with the Lord now. HULDA: Poor, poor Herbert. What will we do, Jesse? JESSE: There is nothing more that can be done. He has slipped off the mortal coil of this world and moved on to the next. HULDA: Oh Jesse. He was so very young. JESSE: Pull this sheet up over him to give him his rest. SFX: DOOR OPENING AND FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING JOHN: I came as soon as I could. Where is the boy? HULDA: (weeping) Oh John. I fear you are too late. We have pulled the sheet over the little general. JOHN: No! As a doctor, I must see for myself. How long has he been gone? TAD: It just happened a minute ago, Uncle John. But look at his color! He is gone for certain. JOHN: Have some faith, boy! All may not be lost. I may perhaps pull him back from the great divide. Now uncover him. SFX: SOUND OF SHEET BEING THROWN BACK JOHN: Breathe, boy – breathe! SFX: SOUND OF SHAKING OF BODY SFX: SOUND OF TAD GASPING JESSE: Good Lord, man! Have you no respect for the dead? Hulda – tell your brother to leave his poor body in peace! JOHN: Unhand me, Jesse. Hulda, tell your husband to unhand me! It is the boy’s only chance. HULDA: Please, Jesse. John is a doctor. We must place our trust in him and our faith in the Lord. SFX: SMALL COUGHING SOUND THEN LIGHT WHIMPERS HULDA: Merciful heavens! The boy is breathing! JOHN: He is back with us — at least for now. JESSE: Praise God – you have saved him. TAD: You did it, Uncle John! You saved my brother! (to Bert) You hear that? You’re going to be okay, Herbert! HULDA: Our son will grow up to be a great man. God’s blessing is on the Hoover house this day! SFX: EXCITING MUSIC STING UP AND UNDER
Act II: Westward Adventures SFX: SEGUE TO SOUND OF TRAIN CHUGGING SLOW SOUND BUILDING NARR: Nine years later, a world had changed for young Herbert Hoover. Now but eleven years old, we find him at the end of a journey across the country to a new home. SFX: SOUND OF TRAIN WHISTLE BLAST THEN CHUGGING SLOW SOUND FADE SISSY: I can’t believe we’re almost there! Won’t it to be nice to be back home, Toby? TOBY: It sure will, Sissy. Des Moines was nice, but it was far too crowded for me. SISSY: Well, it does have over twenty thousand people there. TOBY: Why, that’s twenty thousand sets of encyclopedias that Father will be able to sell! We’ll be rich! (pause) Say, what are you looking at? SISSY: That boy over there. He’s been riding by himself ever since we got on the train. TOBY: That’s over three whole days! (whistles) Golly, I wonder where his parents are? SISSY: Oh that poor little boy. He must be so scared. (pause) And brave. TOBY: What do you mean brave? He doesn’t look any bigger than me, and I’m two years older than you are. SISSY: Well, I’m going to go talk to him. TOBY: You better not, Sissy Davidson. You know what Mother said about talking to strangers! SISSY: Never you mind that, Toby. I’m just going to say hello. TOBY: I’m going to go tell Mother! SISSY: Oh poo to you. I’m going to go talk to him. (pause, then to Herbert) Hello there. My name’s Sissy. What’s yours? BERT: Hello, Sissy. I’m Herbert Hoover, but most people call me Bert. SISSY: Where are your mother and father, Bert? I haven’t seen them at all this whole trip. BERT: My father died when I was six, and my mother got sick and died last year. SISSY: Oh, that’s so awful! Are you all alone? BERT: We had to split up our family. I am going out to stay with my Uncle John for a while. SISSY: So you’re making this long trip all by yourself? BERT: I know a family from West Branch that’s on the train, but they’re in another train car. SISSY: My goodness! Do you have enough food? BERT: I am fine. My aunt in Iowa sent me with a box of boiled eggs and sandwiches. And I still have the two dimes that she gave me for emergencies. And I have these. SFX: SOUND OF CLINKING ROCKS SISSY: Are those arrowheads? Where in the world did you get them? BERT: I collected lots of them when I was staying with my uncle Laban Miles down in Oklahoma Indian country. The Indians taught me where all the best hunting and fishing spots were. One day I caught a fish that was (pause) this big! SISSY: Gosh, that’s huge! (pause) Those arrowheads sure are pretty. May I hold one? BERT: Sure you can, Sissy. This one is made from flint. (pause) And here’s my favorite. It’s carved out of obsidian. SISSY: Obsidian? What’s that? BERT: It comes from volcanoes. SISSY: (somewhat taken aback) Volcanoes? Are there volcanoes down in Oklahoma? BERT: (nonchalantly) There were a lot of them back a long time ago, but they’re not active anymore. SISSY: Golly, Bert. You sure know a lot about rocks and minerals. BERT: Being down in Indian country really got me interested in them. SFX: TRAIN WHISTLE SFX: SOUND OF APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS TOBY: There she is, Mother – talking to that boy just like I said. MOTHER: Now Toby. Stop trying to get your sister in trouble. He looks like a very nice young man. (to Herbert) Hello, young man. Are you on your way home from visiting out east? BERT: No, ma’am. I am from West Branch, Iowa. I am going to stay with my Uncle John in Newberg. MOTHER: Newberg? That is our next stop. CONDUCTOR: (calling, fading in from off mic) Newberg! Next stop, Newberg, Oregon. (pause then fade off mic) Newberg! Next stop, Newberg Oregon. (fade out) SFX TRAIN WHISTLE THEN SOUND OF TRAIN SLOWING MOTHER: I can see the station coming from around the bend. You had better get your things together, young man. We’re almost there. BERT: I appreciate your kindness and concern, ma’am. I have all of my things beside me in this satchel. MOTHER: All of your worldly belongings in that one bag? BERT: Yes, ma’am. But with my health and a full stomach, I have need for nothing else. SFX: SOUNDS OF TRAIN SLOWING TO A STOP AND THEN SOUNDS OF PEOPLE MOVING AND TALKING INDISTINCTLY FADING OFF MIC MOTHER: All right, young man. You had better get along. Good luck to you. BERT: Thank you, ma’am. SISSY: (calling ) Good bye, Herbert. It was very nice to meet you! HERBERT: (fading off mic and into the indistinct crowd sounds) Good bye. MOTHER: What a brave little man. May the Lord bless and keep him. SFX: CROWD SOUNDS FADE OUT SFX: MUSICAL STING UP AND UNDER Act III: The college years NARR: As the years passed, the Lord did indeed bless and keep our hero. Now ten years later, the years have changed the wayward orphan into a tall, and ruggedly handsome man. Rich in character if not worldly things, he takes an opportunity to enroll in the newly established Stanford University and make his voice heard in a world that had been previous closed to him. SFX: REGAL ACADEMIC BELL TOLL IN BACKGROUND SEGUE TO SMALLER RINGING OF HAND BELL OFF MIC MAN 1 (shouting off mic) Election day! Election day! Come on, you Stanford students! Make your voice heard in the Stanford University student body elections. (fading off mic then out) Election day! Election day! SFX: FADE OUT SMALL HAND BELL EDITH: Afternoon, Martha. MARTHA: Oh, hello, Edith. Have you voted in the student body elections yet? EDITH: No, I just can’t decide. Last night at the mixer Wendell Tolliver tried to get me to say I would vote for him and the rest of his Sigma Alpha friends, but I just don’t know. MARTHA: Those boys and their Greek fraternities! If you ask me, I think those rowdy mixers are the only thing those Sigma Alphas do care about. Why I heard that one last month went on until almost ten o’clock at night! Who knows how late they would have kept carrying on if the proper authorities had not been notified? EDITH: Maybe we should vote for those non-fraternity people that won last year. What were they called – the Barbarian Party? MARTHA: They couldn’t have come up with a more fitting name, if you ask me. Barbarians, indeed – they need to show respect for those who are worthy to lead. EDITH: Well, that Herbert Hoover did do a good job as class treasurer. Remember how much debt there was before he got into office? MARTHA: I know. How many times did he deny our social gathering reimbursement requests? That money could have been of great help to us. EDITH: He was as fair with us as he was with anyone. He stated his belief that it wasn’t the student government’s role to finance our fun. MARTHA: He’s just plain stingy if you ask me. EDITH: Herbert Hoover might be stingy, but his wise money management brought the Junior Class budget back in balance for all of us. MARTHA: Well, yes, but still – we need our leaders to be from a certain – ahem – social class. Not only aren’t Herbert and his friends even (emphatically) in a fraternity, but they make a big joke out of it by calling themselves the Barbarians. (dismissively) Barbarians, indeed. CHARLES: Did I hear you ladies talking about our esteemed class treasurer, Herbert Hoover? MARTHA: Oh, hello, Charles. You ought to know that it isn’t polite to eavesdrop. CHARLES: Oh, well then, I suppose neither of you would be interested in hearing a little tidbit that I overheard about Herbert at the baseball field. EDITH: Oh, Charles. You are so awful! How can you tease us like that? Please tell us. MARTHA: Yes, Charles. Please. CHARLES: Well, all right – if you insist. Well, I’m sure you know about the important visitor who was on campus yesterday. EDITH: Of course – everybody knows that former president Benjamin Harrison was here to deliver another of his Constitutional Law lectures. MARTHA: But what does that have to do with Herbert? I know he wasn’t able to come because he was managing the baseball team at the time. CHARLES: Well, after President Harrison was done with his lecture, he went down to the baseball field to take in the game. And he walked right through the gate without paying. EDITH: Well, no one would expect a former president of the United States to have to spend twenty five cents to buy a ticket to watch a Stanford baseball game. CHARLES: Most people, maybe, but not Herbert – as team manager he’s responsible for all the gate receipts. MARTHA: No, you don’t mean… CHARLES: That’s right – he marched right up to Mister Harrison and… EDITH: He had the nerve to approach the former president of the United States and ask him to buy a baseball ticket? I don’t believe it! MARTHA: What happened? You must tell us, Charles! What happened? CHARLES: Well, I wouldn’t have believed it either if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, but right there and then, President Harrison handed Herbert a whole dollar and said he’d not only pay for his own ticket, but that he’d take three more to boot! EDITH: My goodness! Can you imagine how brave Herbert had to be? MARTHA: Brave nothing – that sounds like nothing more than pure cheek to me. The gall of that man! CHARLES: Well, all I know is that anyone who believes that much in having everyone pull their fair weight has my vote. EDITH: He certainly sounds like the man for me. MARTHA: Why Edith Stafford – bite your tongue! Mooning over a man like Herbert Hoover – have you no shame? Anyway, I hear that another woman has caught his eye of late. EDITH: Surely you don’t mean that awful tomboy Lou Henry? MARTHA: Shh…I wouldn’t let her hear you say that. I’ve heard she can run, rope, and ride as well as any man around. She would make quick work of you if she heard you talking like that about her. EDITH: Oh poo. What could Herbert see in that old tomboy, anyway? MARTHA: Well, the way I heard it, he’s been smitten with her ever since they met at the geology soiree at Professor Johnson’s house. CHARLES: My housemate Tyler Spenceton said that they were lab partners last spring. EDITH: Enough already. You have both made your point crystal clear. But that’s not going to stop me from voting for him today. He’s the best man for Stanford! SFX: TRIUMPHANT PATRIOTIC MUSIC UP AND UNDER FOR FIVE SECONDS Act IV: Engineering opportunity NARR: Now, a man of letters, follow our protagonist as he opens the door to the wider world. Our scene is a large opulently decorated office. A well-dressed, powerful- looking man hunches over his elegant desk in keen concentration. BEWICK: (to himself in concentrated fashion with English accent) Red thread over the hook. Black thread under…. SFX: KNOCK ON DOOR BEWICK: (gruffly) Yes? I had asked not to be disturbed. My train leaves at three. SFX: SOUND OF DOOR OPENING SECRETARY: Mr. Bewick, sir. I am sorry to interrupt the preparations for your fishing trip, but a Mister Hoover is here to see you about the overseas position. BEWICK: Blast it. A man gets so little time for relaxation. (pause) Very well. Send him in. The sooner I can send him on his way, the sooner I can get back to finishing tying this fly. SFX: SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS THEN CLOSING OF DOOR BEWICK: Yes, my good man? Make it short – a fishing junket is waiting for me. BERT: Good afternoon, Mister Bewick. I come about the engineering position within your overseas gold mining operations. BEWICK: (starting to laugh derisively) Oh no, no. Certainly not. This will never do. BERT: Pardon me, sir? I come recommended by my former supervisor Mister Louis (LOO-IE) Janin (JHAH-NIHN). BEWICK: (laughing more openly) And might I inquire as to your age, sir? BERT: Twenty-two, sir. BEWICK: Indeed, I thought as much. It appears as though my old friend Louis Janin has put me up for some sort of practical joke. BERT: Pardon me, sir? I am afraid I do not understand. BEWICK: Of course you don’t, my lad, as it would appear that you are but a pawn in Louis’s elaborate prank. Evidently he took issue with my desire for an experienced gold mining engineer approximately thirty-five years of age with approximately seventy-five years of experience. (laughing) Ho ho ho. Tell me, son, how long have you had that awkward moustache? BERT: I admit it is a recent acquisition, sir, but I am well capable for the position. Please, take a look at this. SFX: SOUND OF RUSTLING PAPER BERT: Louis sends this letter of introduction as to my credentials. SFX: SOUND OF SNATCHING THEN UNFOLDING PAPER BEWICK: Ahem. (pause) I see… (pause) Mister Hoover. I full well understand that you come highly recommended, but I asked him to send a man, not a boy. Now if you will excuse me, I need to get back to preparing for my trip. BERT: Very well, sir. I certainly hope your mine management shows better foresight than your tackle larder. BEWICK: (indignantly) I beg your pardon, my good man? Clarify yourself! BERT: Well, I see from the trophies mounted on your wall your fondness for Coho Salmon. BEWICK: Indeed, they are the royal monarch of the waters. I have commissioned the best guide in the in the northwest solely for this trip. BERT: I thought as much. But might I ask as to why you seem to be tying Cedar River larvae files? BEWICK: (proudly) You have a keen eye, young man. I have tied over a dozen of them myself under his advice. And at no small investment of time, I might add. BERT: That is truly a shame, Mister Bewick, as the time for their molting was over four months ago. No fish worth his salt would give that fly a second glance. Are you sure that he instructed you to tie them? BEWICK: Indeed, young man. I have his instructions right here. BERT: Arriving in April. It appears that he is under the impression that you were to be there earlier in the year. BEWICK: Well, that is when I had originally planned the trip, but then business delayed it until now. But, certainly, it shouldn’t make that much of a difference, should it? BERT: Well, having been fishing salmon all across the county since I was three, I’d use a rolled Muddler minnow, but being such a young pup, what would I know? (pause) Well, I should be going now. Good luck on your trip. SFX: FOOTSTEPS AND DOOR OPENING BEWICK: Wait! (pause) Wait a moment, young man. Are you certain about this…this Muddler fly you mentioned? BERT: As certain as I am that I could run your operations overseas. Oh well, it has been a pleasure, sir. BEWICK: Now now, perhaps I was a bit hasty in dismissing your credentials, young man. My train is not scheduled to leave until three. Tell me more about your experiences with my dear friend, Louis. (pause) And perhaps along the way, we can touch a little bit more on how long would it take you to tie up a few of those flies before I have to leave. SFX: LIGHT SPRIGHTLY MUSIC UP AND UNDER FOR FIVE SECONDS
ACT V: The loyal leader SFX: SEGUE TO DARKER OMINOUS MARTIAL MUSIC UP AND UNDER NARR: Nineteen fifteen. Years of successful and fruitful mine stewardship have allowed Herbert Hoover the means to shift his focus to the needs of his fellow man. There could be no better time for him to walk onto the world’s stage as The Great War has torn proud Europe in two. American involvement yet two years in the future, Hoover leaps to act when the fragile flow of foods to the innocent has been severed, threatening millions with slow and cruel starvation. Yet, to an end, the great humanitarian never wavered in keeping the interests of his countryman first and foremost in his mind. SFX: SEGUE TO CALMER MUSIC THEN FADE OUT NARR: Our scene begins on a warm fall afternoon in a small northern Minnesota town. An elderly woman sits quietly on her porch awaiting news from the outside world. CHILD: Nana! Nana! The post is here! There’s a letter from Jules! MOTHER: From Jules? Praise the Lord! Bring it to me, child. CHILD: Here you go, Nana. What does it say? SFX: SOUND OF ENVELOPE BEING TORN OPEN AND LETTER UNFOLDED MOTHER: (read as voiceover) My dearest Mother. I regret the long time it has been since I last wrote to you. Mercifully, under the Lord’s watchful eye I have come to no harm here in the towns and fields of Belgium… (cross fade to Jules’s voice) SFX: SOUNDS OF GUNS AND CANNON BLASTS IN THE DISTANCE JULES: …despite the many well armed German forces we encounter on a daily basis. The eyes of the Belgian people, while still showing signs of hunger, have moved beyond the panicked and desperate horror that we encountered when we arrived in April on our way to distribute food to the needy. While the people owe their thanks to Mister Hoover, no one is more beholden to this great man than I, for it is my thought that he saved my very life. Worry not, dear Mother, for now I am safe from harm, but it is by this that I am so long in writing to you… SFX: SOUND OF HARP LIKE MUSIC SIGNIFYING TRANSITIONAL SEGUE SFX: SOUND OF SHARP RAP ON DOOR SCHMIDT: Jah (YA)? Who is it? AIDE: Herr Hoover is here to see you, mine Colonel. SCHMIDT: Ah, undoubtedly about that Americaner spy we are holding. Send him in. AIDE: Jawohl (YAH-VOHL), mine Colonel. (off mic) This way, Herr Hoover. SFX: SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING AND THEN SOUND OF DOOR SHUTTING SCHMIDT: Ah, Herr Hoover. What a pleasure it is we meet again. Please, have a seat. And what is the reason for this unexpected meeting? HOOVER: You know damn well why I’m here, Schmidt. I have been informed that you have been holding one of my men for the past three days. I want him released this instant. SCHMIDT: Herr Hoover, we agreed to allow you and your men behind the battle lines to distribute food to the Belgian people, not provide an avenue of information for our British enemies. We have reason to believe that the man we are holding is a spy. HOOVER: (indignantly) A spy? Jules Olsen is nothing of the sort. Every man in this operation is here for one and only one reason – to provide relief supplies for the Belgian people. Each has signed an oath of neutrality that they have sworn to uphold. I stake my reputation as a gentleman on this! I demand he be released this instant! SCHMIDT: I am not so certain that this can be done, Herr Hoover. My men found your man drawing sketches of our defenses in a very sensitive military area far away from the food distribution corridor. Here – SFX: SOUND OF PAPERS THROWN ACROSS DESK SCHMIDT: Take a look at these. HOOVER: But these are simple drawings of buildings. How can you be so sure about them? SCHMIDT: As a soldier in charge of my men’s lives I cannot afford to assume he is not a spy. HOOVER: (calmly) But how can you be certain? Colonel Schmidt, I’m certain that we can be reasonable about this. Our men share the burden of being so young and so very far from their homes. Do you remember those days? SCHMIDT: Jah, Herr Hoover. I remember. HOOVER: Then you also remember that with that youth comes the mistakes of youth. War and espionage are old men’s games. Please, at least bring him to me so I may talk to him. If he proves to be a spy, I will wash my hands of him. If not, I ask you release him to me. SCHMIDT: But Herr Hoover, upon how is this to be based? Solely upon your word? HOOVER: Colonel, my word is my bond. In nothing do I put higher value. SCHMIDT: Very well, Herr Hoover. Very well. SFX: BUZZING SOUND OF INTERCOM SCHMIDT: (off mic) Mueller, bring the prisoner to me! AIDE: Jawohl, mine Colonel! SFX: SOUND OF DOOR OPENING AND ENTRY OF FOOTSTEPS WITH CHAIN ACCENTS AIDE: The prisoner as requested, mine Colonel. SFX: SOUND OF DOOR SHUTTING JULES: Colonel, as an American citizen I must protest this type of treatment I have received over the past… HOOVER: It seems to me, Olson, that you would be wise to place more focus on listening than making demands. JULES: Mister Hoover? Praise the Lord! But what are you doing here? HOOVER: I would think the more pressing question, Olson, is what are (emphatically) you doing here? The Colonel here seems to think that you are a spy. (more aggressively) So, Olson, what is it? Are you a spy? Well…are you? Are you? SFX: SOUND OF BANGING ON TABLE HOOVER: Hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone into this relief operation. I will not have anyone jeopardizing the work we are doing! So out with it, man! Are you a spy or not? JULES: (cracking) No, sir. I swear to you, I am not a spy! HOOVER: Then what were you doing away from the rest of your company, man? JULES: I was looking at the buildings and got lost, sir. HOOVER: Lost? How could this be? JULES: I have been studying to be an architect and I stopped to sketch out a design and when I looked I realized everyone had moved on without me. HOOVER: Why would you bother drawing buildings in a war zone? Whatever could you have been thinking? You have work you should have been doing! JULES: As I said, sir, I’m studying to be an architect and the buildings are so breathtaking. I’ve never seen any structure in Minnesota more than 100 years old — and those are cabins. Some of these magnificent structures date back to the middle ages. I had never seen such graceful use of angle and line. I… HOOVER: If that were the case, why did you not tell the Colonel’s men when they captured you? JULES: I tried, sir. But they were questioning me in German. I was so scared. Then after saying nothing, I didn’t think they would believe me. HOOVER: There, Schmidt we have heard enough. This man is no spy. You may let him go. SCHMIDT: Herr Hoover, I must protest! I cannot let this man go solely on your word. HOOVER: You will let him go. The man is no spy. He is an American who is under my command. We have signed a pledge of neutrality. Our only goal is to feed the hungry and prevent them from starving. Without your cooperation we will pull up stakes and bring our operation to a close. Do you want the deaths of so many to be on your hands merely over a few meager sketches by a boy far from home? Or perhaps you have a means for feeding them? (pause) I am a very busy man, Colonel. I am afraid I haven’t the luxury to wait all day for your answer. SCHMIDT: All right, all right. You win, Herr Hoover. I release him to you. (to Jules) To have such a protector…you know, you are a very lucky young man, do you not? A very lucky man, indeed. SFX: HARP LIKE SEGUE BACK TO READING JULES: Today we prepare to move out. This cruel war has assured that there will be many more hungry in need of feeding. But I, thanks to the brave intercession of Mister Hoover, am a free man. Mama, I owe my life to Mister Herbert Hoover. He is the greatest man I have ever met. MOTHER: Lord, bless Mister Herbert Hoover. What a great man. SFX: REGAL MUSIC UP AND UNDER FOR FIVE SECONDS
ACT VII The great Mississippi flood SFX: SEGUE TO THUNDERCLAP AND THEN RAIN UP THEN UNDER SFX: COUNTRY BLUES GUITAR (A LA SUN HOUSE/ROBERT JOHNSON) BED UP AND UNDER WHILE MAN SINGS, IDEALLY WITH SCRATCHY RECORD SORT OF SOUND SINGER: (semi-scatting) Well well well well Well well well well Well well well well Well well well well Come sits yours self on down…and a story I will describe I say sit yours self on down…a great story I will describe Bout a man come down and save us…save us from Mi’sippi tides SINGER: Rain come fallin' down…fall down ‘pon Mississippi way Say the rain come fallin’ down…fall down Mississippi way Cruel water keep rising…pray ol' levy hold back that rain SFX: SEGUE TO SOUND OF NEWS BROADCAST ON RADIO FADING IN ANNCR: (read with rapid news announcer style) Dateline Cairo, Illinois: New Year’s Day 1927. Flood waters from the rain-engorged Mississippi washed over the walls of this Southern Illinois town. Mississippi River Commission engineers assured Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover that the levees in place would hold. In a brief statement given on his way to join President Coolidge for New Year’s supper, Secretary Hoover promised to keep a watchful eye on the issue. SFX: RADIO FADE AND MUSIC FADE BACK UP SINGER: Well, the men they come a callin’…say we need you sweat and blood Yes, them men all come a callin’…tell we need some sweat and blood Take a shovel to the shoreline… pray we can hold back the flood.
Come back the next morning…house and farm all washed away Yes, I come back in the morning…house and farm be washed away Mister Hoover give us shelter…little girls got safe place to stay. SFX: SEGUE TO SOUND OF NEWS BROADCAST ON RADIO FADING IN ANNCR: (read with rapid news announcer style) Dateline Greenville, Mississippi. In an epic battle of man against nature, thousands toil around the clock to fortify levees to hold back the raging floodwaters. Coordinating the efforts of the Red Cross and eight other relief agencies, Secretary of Commerce Hoover has assembled an armada of over six hundred relief ships and has organized vast tent cities for the tens of thousands of refugees. Recalling ironic shades of his work saving our war-torn European brothers from starvation a decade ago, Secretary Hoover stopped along the route on his way to the scene of the disaster to personally solicit aid from leaders in over ninety communities. On each stop his message was the same. HOOVER: (filtered scratchy sound bite) A couple of thousand refugees are coming. They’ve got to have accommodations. Huts. Water mains. Sewers. Streets. Dining halls. Meals. Doctors. Everything. And you haven’t got months to do it. You haven’t got weeks. You’ve got hours. SFX: RADIO FADE MUSIC FADE BACK UP SINGER: Well, muddy water keep a rollin’…spitting dirt and silt and sand Yes, dat muddy water keep on rollin’…leavin’ dirt and silt and sand Water’s going back down Lord…sink back below the levee again
Well, I dreamed I saw old Noah…but I waved him right on by Yes, I dreamed I saw ol’ Noah…but waved that ol’ boat right on by No need to stop for me, friend…Mister Hoover stay by my side.
Oh oh oh oh well well Oh oh oh oh oh. SFX: FADE OUT GUITAR
ACT VIII : Return to West Branch SFX: SOUND OF TRAIN CHUGGING AND WHISTLE OFF MIC MAYOR: All right, the train’s coming – let’s try it one more time. SFX: BRASS BAND PLAYING THREE BARS OF HAIL TO THE CHIEF MAYOR: (shouting over din of band to quiet them) Okay, okay! That’s enough, boys – save some breath for when he gets here. REPORTER: Mayor! Mayor! Can I get a few words from you for the public? MAYOR: Ah, yes – Mister Cooper from the Register. I’m glad to see you still feel our little town is important to your readers in Des Moines. REPORTER: Well, the eyes of the world are on West Branch today. What do you have scheduled for the candidate? MAYOR: When the next president of the United States comes back to his home town, (emphatically) you don’t set the schedule – he does. REPORTER: Oh come now, mayor – the election isn’t until November. What makes you think he is going to win? MAYOR: Listen here – Herbert Hoover is the best man for the job. Bar none. And you can quote me on that. When Herbert Hoover sets his mind to a problem, things get solved. I don’t need to remind you about that flooding last year, do I? REPORTER: No, sir, but… MAYOR: Or how the work he did getting planes in the air when he was Secretary of Commerce? Not to mention the work he did getting radio up and running across the country. (teasingly) But, of course, you probably won’t want to write about that – radio being your competition and all in the news game. REPORTER: What about his statement that any man worth his salt should make his first million before he was thirty? How’s that going to play with the common working man? Just looking around, West Branch seems to be running a bit light on millionaires. MAYOR: Excuse me, sir, but in this year of our Lord nineteen twenty eight, we have never been more blessed or prosperous. Look at the facts: we have more home ownership than ever before in our nation’s history. The common man is investing in the stock market alongside the old money. There’s room and opportunity for everyone. And Herbert Hoover’s the man to protect that. REPORTER: Well, yes, but for the working man… MAYOR: But nothing! Tell me -- how many of the candidates have been working directly with US Steel to bring the twelve hour day down to a reasonable ten hours? REPORTER: Well, given his connections in the government… MAYOR: Exactly – Herbert Hoover has more experience than all the other candidates put together. Tell me – how many Belgians did they save during the Great War? Five? Twenty? A hundred? REPORTER: Well, not directly, but… MAYOR: The man’s life’s work is beyond reproach. Tell me. How many books – including texts that have become standards in the field – have the other candidates written? REPORTER: Well… SFX: TRAIN WHISTLE AND TRAIN SOUND OFF MIC FADING IN MAYOR: Now if you will excuse me, I must get ready for Iowa’s favorite son and, Lord willing, the next president of the United States. (pause then yelling off mic) Start the band, boys! Here he comes! SFX: BRASS BAND WITH LIVELY HAIL TO THE CHIEF (or Iowa song) UP AND UNDER Epilogue NARR: Friends. We come to the end of our story tonight that has traced our hero from his humble beginnings to the great man he is today. Call him what you will – the Master of Emergencies, the Great Humanitarian, or Liberty’s Protector – Herbert Hoover is the best man for the Presidency. (pause) SFX: MUSIC SWELL THEN UNDER NARR: Remember, when you are in the privacy of the voting booth on November Sixth vote wisely. (emphatically) Vote Hoover. The future of our great nation is in your hands. SFX: MUSIC SWELL THEN OUT
"First Light on the Prairie", by Linda Staats
June 20-July 5, 2008
Photographer Linda Staats is known for her imagery of the Midwest heartland and the Pacific Northwest. Her photographs are in private and corporate collections and have appeared in galleries, brochures, notecards, and calendars. She recently returned to the Midwest after living in Washington State where she spent countless days photographing National Parks, and is now working on a project of Midwestern images. "I want to illustrate the diversity that exists in this part of the country-the richness that makes up the land, the people, and the life of this area."
"Lou Henry Hoover circa 1925", painting by Billie Davids
Herbert Hoover NHS Collection
September 11-23, 2007
Billie Davids is a native of the small river town of Princeton, Iowa. After leaving behind artwork most of her life, Mrs. Davids started painting professionally three years ago. Her paintings capture moments of everyday American life. "I bought myself a camera a few years ago," says Mrs. Davids, "and started noticing all the ordinary activities that people of all ages were enjoying, sometimes planned activities they had looked forward to all week, sometimes impromptu moments, and I wanted to paint them, stop time, not just with my camera but in large as life pictures so I could say for them, 'See me, see what I can do.'"
"Hoover Birthplace", pastel by Diane Blair Kunzler
Herbert Hoover NHS Collection
Diane Blair Kunzler
July 19-August 4, 2007
Diane Blair Kunzler is from Glidden, Iowa, and has been featured in numerous art exhibits. She has a Master of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston. Ms. Kunzler has explored Midwestern landscapes as a subject for her artwork for twenty years. "A residency at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site affords me the opportunity to explore an abundance of subjects of interest to me as an artist, and a unique opportunity to interact with people who visit the site," said Ms. Kunzler. "Art is so many times a solitary experience and I enjoy the casual interactions with people who are interested in the subjects I work with and the artistic process."
"Cottage in Winter", hand-woven tapestry by Karen Page Crislip
Herbert Hoover NHS Collection
Karen Page Crislip
September 13-29, 2006
Hand-woven tapestry maker Karen Page Crislip of Estes Park, Colorado has roots in eastern Iowa. She graduated from Bettendorf High School in 1966 and is related to Herbert Hoover. She is a trained and experienced educator eager to share her love of weaving with the public.
"I am very excited about returning to Eastern Iowa and seeing what happens to my images when I am focusing on designs in the environment of my early years," said Ms. Crislip. She started a number of designs during her residence and donated a tapestry, pictured here, interpreting the Birthplace Cottage in winter.
Artist-in-Residence Gabriel Sokoloff composed three pieces inspired during his residency.
July 14-28, 2005
Musician and composer Gabriel Sokoloff studied with renowned jazz pianist Alex Darqui. He performs keyboard and saxophone in West Palm Beach, Florida and Providence, Rhode Island.
Mr. Sokoloff's music and lyrics found expression in the charm and power of the National Historic Site's outdoors. During his residency, he composed, performed, and engineered three songs, including "Prairie Sun", an instrumental piece written for Herbert Hoover National Historic Site.
"Quaker School House", painting by Caren Hackman
July 5-18, 2005
Painter and illustrator Caren Hackman immersed herself in the distinct light and texture of the National Historic Site's landscape. The park's Eastern Iowa locale was a sharp contrast to South Florida, where she has painted for decades. As Artist-in-Residence Ms. Hackman twice demonstrated working with highlights and shadows to distinguish forms in watercolor painting. She created three paintings while at Herbert Hoover NHS.
Untitled sculpture by Matt Moyer
Herbert Hoover NHS Collection
September 24-October 22, 2004
Ceramicist Matt Moyer creates vessels and sculptures influenced by everyday implements and industry that surrounded the Mississippi River and its central plains in the late 19th century.
As Artist-in-Residence Mr. Moyer, who is interested in natural materals, demonstrated ceramics using clays found in Cedar County. Participants learned to make their own cup or bowl and to incorporate natural fibers.
Mr. Moyers donated sculpture of wood-fired stoneware on a steel base is modeled on a tool found in the park's working Blacksmith Shop.
"Miles Farmstead", painting by Kristi Carlson
Herbert Hoover NHS Collection
May 6-21, 2000
Kristi Carlson is an art professor and gallery director at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. She holds degrees in art from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and Purdue University, and has also studied art independently and at the University of Iowa.
Prof. Carlson's painting, "Miles Farmstead" is on display in the Visitor Center.
If you designed a park to commemorate your life, what would you like future generations to know?
Prepare for lessons, activities, or for a visit to Herbert Hoover National Historic Site.
When Hoover was a boy, it was just a small stream of water trickling through marshy wetlands.
A visit to a national park can help promote health and well-being.
Did You Know?
General Land Office surveyors who first came to Iowa commented that the territory was fit only for waterfowl. Eighty-five percent of Iowa used to be soggy tallgrass prairie.