Celebration
2002!

 May 18th thru June 2nd
Shirley and Marty gave a two hour talk
on Sunday night
(May 19th) in the Reunion Hall 


1. Shirley, Me and Marty after the show.
2. & 3. The two of them enjoying the
marvelous audience in attendance that evening.
4. Shirley at the statue the day after the unveiling.
5. The park like setting for the new statue of Meredith Willson.
There will be a beautiful flower garden surrounding the area.


The 18th marked author and composer Meredith Willson's 100th birthday.
He was born
Robert Reiniger Meredith Willson on May 18th 1902.

 
Saturday, the 18th was the official unveiling of the statue.
Marty made the crowd laugh when he looked at the covered statue and remarked
"Are you sure you got the right one? Or did they send the Madonna statue by mistake!?"

    
Meredith Willson's granddaughter proudly holds up a photo taken with him
when she was just a baby. Katerina Smit gave a lovely speech.


Katerina presents the photograph to Dr. Carl Miller
so that it may have an honored place
in the Square.
Dr. Miller is the Executive Director of The Mason City Foundation.
It was his dream to build The Music Man Square.

If you are thinking about where to spend your
next vacation, think about
Mason City, Iowa.


Marian Paroo's house recreated for The Music Man Square.
The square is absolutely amazing, they have the entire cityscape of
 the fictional River City, Iowa! You'll think you stepped right into the movie!



 

In 1999 Shirley performed a concert in nearby Clear Lake, Iowa at the
famous Surf Ballroom.  CLICK HERE for that story.

Fortunately for Shirley she did not have a concert scheduled during her most recent visit.
She and Marty took the train from Los Angeles Union Station a few days earlier.
Between L.A. and Iowa, Shirley came down with a cold and some sinus problems.


Dinner and a Chat with Shirley and Marty
May 19th - In Reunion Hall at The Music Man Square


We first met  Fred And Ida Mae in 1999.
They've portrayed The Mayor and Mrs. Shinn for many years.
They were guests at our table during the dinner portion of the evening.
It was a pleasure getting to know them a little better. This photo is from the previous
day when they attended the unveiling of The Meredith Willson Statue.


Click on their photo for our 1999 visit.

These terrific ladies are the Karrant Twins. They were born in Mason City on
June 18th, 1918. Born prematurely, they were not expected to do very well.

Well let me tell you, they are two of the most interesting and lively folks
that I've ever met and they're still going strong.
Have a very  Happy Birthday Tula and Kula!


 Stacie Stoelting is an amazing young girl. At the age of 15,
Stacie wrote and published her first book.
Stacie (in pink and white) and her younger sister Carrie 
 are greeted by Shirley during the autograph signing session on May 19th.


Stacie and her family are from Cherokee, IA. They are great fans of Shirley's work.
 They were delighted to be able to travel to Mason City for this special evening.

"Still Holding Hands" is the title of Stacie's book.
It's a heartfelt story that documents her grandparents true story of life, love,
and a harrowing fight with Alzheimer's disease.
It celebrates what the strength of love and faith can do.

Alzheimer's is such a tragic illness that is affecting so many lives these days.
Stacie's grandfather Ray, My grandmother Jewel, our former President,
Ronald Reagan and Actress Kate Mulgrew's mother, to name just a few.


We recommend that you order a copy of  "Still Holding Hands".
Stacie is passionate about bringing awareness to this issue. 
She has been on a speaking and book signing tour
and has been interviewed by major newspapers.


Photo Loop from the May 19th "Talk with Shirley and Marty"

 


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