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The devilishly handsome character you see above is me in my show-stopping role as Ernest Zwerner, owner of Citizens' Market in Terre Haute, circa 1945. Actually, I'm not an actor and I don't play one on TV. I worked recently as an historic interpreter at the Indiana Historical Society Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center, and it was the best job I've had since I was teaching at Cedar Lake Swim School.
I know, I know. Historic interpreters are goofy, right? I thought so, too, until I became one. Every day, my fellow interpreters and I would inhabit the store on Jan. 20, 1945. We talked with visitors about the events of the day, large and small. We listened to Fibber McGee and Molly on the radio. We discussed the artistic merits of the Roy Rogers picture playing over at the Garfield Theater. In short, we had a blast... and so did the thousands of people who came to visit us.
The exhibit is on hiatus for 2009 but should be back next year, along with another interpretation. I can't wait.
The pipe in my mouth belonged to my great-uncle, Osceen K. May of Kendallville, Indiana. I loved Uncle Ceen, so the pipe was my small tribute to a wonderful man. And no, I didn't fill it and light it. I WAS tempted, however. They even had Uncle Ceen's favorite tobacco on the shelves -- Prince Albert. In a can.
Take a look at the background, and then look at the photo below The store was built to reproduce in 3D a photo of the real Citizens' Market, right down to the last can label, and it did. Except for the fat guy.

The real market, Jan. 20, 1945 (Indiana Historical Society Photo)

Singing, if you can call it that, at the Cole Porter Room at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center.

Goofiness abounds. Just go with it.

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