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July 2015

Fox as herndon webHow To Have a Happy, Cold, Wet, Flood-Soaked Summer!
Yes, we did have a tornado touch down in a small town near us, but luckily no lives were lost and Bishop Hill was untouched. But a little rain shouldn’t dampen summer fun. I just spent a week on the Spirit of Peoria riverboat during a record flood, a truly exciting time to see the river! We changed the schedule hourly to avoid calamity, and the guest said it was a wonderful experience. My annual Birthday Poem was inspired by the adventure. We have another campfire storytelling July 17th and a lovely concert July 19th. And this summer we are hosting several Chautauqua, all geared towards being the spark on a cold, wet, moon-dark night. Will you join us as a light unto the darkness:

Awake at dawn,
I dreamed of catching a silvery bright crappie flopping on a cane pole.
Showered, shampooed, shaved, sh*t, then sipped coffee.
My work day started with a hike along the high bluff
above the Mississippi
with 22 teenagers,
serenaded by a dozen bird songs,
tasting wildflowers and talking tree tales ...Read More
Illinois River at Flood Stage

Help Us Find this Famous General, Senator, and Presidential Candidate!
Logan webLogan biographer Gary Ecelbarger wrote that John A. Logan “may be the most noteworthy nineteenth century American to go unnoticed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.”
But if you take the time to look around, look more closely, there are faint impressions from the life of Logan in plain sight in every small town and large city.
As many of you may know I portray General “ Black Jack” Logan. Working with www.HistoricUnitedStates.com, we recently helped to redesign the website, www.loganmuseum.org. To help launch the website we are hosting a “Where’s Waldo” kind of contest encouraging you to send us a photo and 50-100 word description of where you found General John A. Logan. Once you start looking you will find him in many places! Send us your pictures to win prizes and free tickets to the museum. Follow this link to read more…
Black Hawk's Band

Black HawkImagine a campfire with a band of Indians sharing creation myths and history. Fancy dancing and drumming songs are part of this evening's celebration of an undying spirit that inhabits the land where Black Hawk roamed. July 17th at 7:00 pm join Prairie Folklore Theatre for our annual summer storytelling event. Bring your family, bring a friend, bring a lawn chair, bring a picnic. Please visit our events page for more information: www.twinflowerinn.com/events

Chasing Lovely: The Dreaming Tree Concert Series Continues

Chasing Lovely posterWe launched our annual concert series at The Twinflower Inn with the Bishop Hill Roots Music Festival in May and then helped to host the MidSommer Music Festival in June. If you missed these events and want to catch the next round of concerts please like The Twinflower Inn on Facebook.
Our next concert is July 19th at 4:00 pm with a truly lovely duet: witty, talented, acoustic singer/songwriters, Chasing Lovely. Bring your family, bring a friend, bring a lawn chair, bring a picnic, BYOB. Please visit our events page for more information: www.twinflowerinn.com/events
A River of Stories
Guest Blogger on Catch the Storybug!

Karen Chase is a goddess in the on-line storytelling world! She hosts one of the most content rich story sources with thousands of followers. SO when she asked me to write for Catch the Story Bug! I said yes! Here is a link to my article A River of Stories, which includes video, stories, poems and lesson plans.

Another Chautauqua Season Approaches

If you want your dream to be, Take your time, go slowly…
Day by day, stone by stone, Build your secret slowly… 
     Donovan wrote this for the movie about Saint Francis “Brother Son, Sister Moon”

For the past several years I have been working on growing the Prairie State Chautauqua. We started with one performance in a few towns around the state. Then Bishop Hill and Murphysboro each hosted a full day. This summer Jacksonville will host three days, Franklin Mill and Bishop Hill are hosting two days, Murphysboro one, and two other towns are hosting a single program, planning for a future Chautauqua.

This year we are focusing on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Come meet Lincoln, his childhood friend Austin Gollaher, his law partner Billie Herndon, his wife Mary, her dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley, and the Drummer Boy of Shiloh, Joseph Henry Monroe.
Please share the links with your local library, schools, and friends who might be interested. Plan now to spend the weekend with these historic characters.
Click through the link to learn more about each date:
  • July 17, 7:00 PM Black Hawk's Band: A Native View of Illinois History at the Twinflower Inn Summer Campfire Series.  Featuring storytellers Jo Lakota and Brian "Fox" Ellis, singer/songwriter Barry Cloyd and fancy dancer Jimmy Lakota.  For more information visit twinflowerinn.com/events or call 309-696-1017.
  • July 18, 12:00 PM Fox will perform as Austin Gollaher at noon in Franklin Park as part of the Bloomington, Illinois Lincoln Festival. There are programs all over town both Saturday adn Sunday. Here is a link to the complete schedule.
  • July 18, 7:00 PM Fox will perform "Black Hawk, A Native View of American History" at the Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum (http://www.villageofgrayslake.com/) in Grayslake, IL.
  • July 19, 4:00 PM Dreaming Tree Concert Series at The Twinflower Inn in Bishop Hill, IL.  Musical guest Chasing Lovely.  Music begins at 4:00 pm.  For more information visit www.twinflowerinn.com/events or call 309-696-1017.
  • July 25, 2:00 pm Fox will perform as Walt Whitman as part of Thomson, Illinois' Sesquicentennial. Spend an Hour with the Old Gray Beard Poet as he recalls his memories of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Sponsored by the Thomson, IL Chamber of Commerce and Illinois Humanities.
  • August 15 & 16 Fox will perform both Saturday and Sunday at the Franklin Creek, IL Chautauqua at Franklin Creek Grist Mill (www.franklincreekgristmill.com/chautauqua). There is a full weekend of activities including nature hikes, crafts, meals and music! Saturday he will be "Austin Gollaher: Lincoln Tales Talls and True" and Sunday he will be Billie Herndon, speaking on Lincoln the Lawyer.
  • August 29 & 30 Fox is hosting the 3rd annual Bishop Hill Chautauqua, with performances from 1:00-4:00 pm both days. There wiil be a workshop for educators, actors, and homeschoolers Saturday morning at 10:00. Sunday at 1:00 local students will perform! Located in the Village Park, this small town tradition is a FREE, family-oriented event where you'll hear re-enactors tell inspiring stories portraying famous historical figures. This year we are celebrating the Life of Lincoln. Come meet his childhood friend Austin Gollaher, his law partner Billie Herndon, Mary's dressmaker and family confidant, Elizabeth Keckley, the Drummer Boy of Shiloh, James Monroe, and of course President Lincoln will be there. Rain or shine, we have in door options. Bring a lawn chair, bring a picnic, bring a friend! Come early to enjoy the shops of Bishop Hill. For more information visit www.bishophillheritage.org or call 309-927-3899.
  • September 16 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM Fox is hosting the 3rd Annual Murphysboro Chautauqua at the Liberty Theater on Main Street in downtown Murphysboro, IL Meet Billie Herndon, Lincoln's Law Partner, Mary Todd Lincoln and President Lincoln.

If you see that that I will be in your area and you would like to book a program to share expenses, please Contact Fox.