Although we have discussed Olympia Fest during our meetings, I wanted to share with all of you some photos from the festival and oral history updates. Joby Castine, president of the Olympia Community Festival Association, Inc and Olympia Community Education Foundation, Inc. played the role of W.B. Smith Whaley during the festival and shared a wealth of information about the exciting goals of the Olympia Community Education Foundation, Inc. and some personal stories about his mill family. Mr. Castine expressed great interest in the oral histories and identified a number of community members who could help, especially the Jaco Family (Jim Jaco) and Larry Gates. I informed him that Sarah would be taking over the oral histories along with another colleague so he is prepared to work with whoever becomes interested (I forwarded a list of the members and contact information provided from Mr. Castine to Sarah). Mr. Castine also informed me that he is working on a book about Whaley’s brother who happened to be USC’s first football coach. He is looking for some assistance in compiling the footnotes and securing image rights- I told him ELE would love to help and to contact us at any time.
There is also an opportunity for ELE to be a part of the next Olympia Fest. Mr. Castine was working with only a poster board but would like to have a big booth next year with tons of images and objects. I am sure, as public historians, we can help him create a fantastic and engaging booth for next year that simultaneously offers some students exhibiting experience and supports ELE’s community interaction goals.
Total hours spent at Olympia Fest: 3 hrs.