Last Monday (Jan. 22) Nick Anderson and I presented our historical program to SIRs, Bidwell Branch 110, at the invitation of past “Big Sir” Keith Johnson. (SIRs is an organization for retired men who like to get together for a monthly luncheon and various interest groups.)
I originally worked up this program for the Chico Museum, where we presented it last year. It was much improved this time around, mainly because of all the rehearsal time put in, especially by Nick, who carries much the greater part of the dialogue.
The setting is as follows:
I am a fictitious lady reporter from San Francisco, interviewing prominent Californians in 1858. My nom de plume is Mrs. Leticia Norris. I have traveled to Rancho Chico to talk with Major John Bidwell, famous pioneer, well-known ranch owner, and veteran of the war for California independence.
Our conversation lasts about a half hour, and during that time we discuss adventures on the California Trail, grizzly bears, Captain Sutter, Fort Ross, exploring the Sacramento Valley, the Mexican War, politics, and more grizzly bears. (They keep coming up.) I based the script on Bidwell’s own recollections, and most of his words are taken verbatim from his writings and speeches.
If you know of a group that would enjoy seeing and hearing John Bidwell live and on stage, just get in touch with me in the comments. Nick and I would be delighted to bring our program to you.