Saturday, March 9, 2013

This Week in "Local History Project" News

Next Monday, the students will work with author Liza Frenette as our "local history" project rolls on. Liza will be talking about characterization and working with students on improving drafts of their play scripts based on local history.
To get an idea of what the scripts will look like, here's one I wrote based on some research I did about Christy Mathewson and his interest in botany.

(The interior of a sleeping porch at the Santanoni Apartments in Saranac Lake, NY. It is early in the spring. It is nighttime, and the room is lit partially by moonlight streaming through the large porch windows and also by a small lamp on a table by a bed. In the bed is CHRISTY MATHEWSON of the NY Giants, one of the greatest pitchers of all time. He is sleeping. Standing by his bedside is DR. EDWARD PACKARD, Director of the Trudeau Sanatorium and Christy’s personal physician. Standing by Dr. Packard is a NURSE).

DR. PACKARD: Look at him lying there, nurse. It’s hard to believe that this sickly man is the world’s best baseball player, the great Christy Mathewson!
NURSE: Yes, Dr. Packard, it’s very sad. But he’ll get excellent care here in Saranac Lake. TB is a terrible disease, but we’ve cured so many people. At least he has a fighting chance here.
NARRATOR: The cure for Tuberculosis patients like Christy involved resting in fresh air, moderate exercise and keeping the patient’s spirits up. And for Christy, there was one more thing… EXTREME BOTANY!
CHRISTY: (writing excitedly in a notebook) There’s the harebell! (looks at the ground and points) And look: hop clover!
NARRATOR: No one can say for sure how he first caught the “botany bug” but Christy became obsessed with finding wildflowers and writing their names in his notebook. His list would eventually grow to include 13 dozen species!
CHRISTY: (cranes neck to peer into the distance) Is that, yes it is! Sneezewort! Score!
NARRATOR: One day, Christy’s teammates “IRON MAN” JOE MCGINNITY and DAVE WILLIAMS arrived in Saranac Lake to visit Christy and cheer him up. What they found surprised them very much.
CHRISTY: Guys it’s great to see you, and thanks for coming all this way, but I’m just on my way out. I’ve had a report that some day lily was spotted in the backyard of the Bogie Cottage on Franklin Street!