This page offers some very interesting,
fun, and educational LIVING
PROGRAMS (U.S. History 1800-1850).
Vilda doesn't just regurgitate information from the history books - HE'S
his program topics include:
*Traveling the Santa Fe Trail
(Les walked 980 miles of this
trail in 1984 and traveled with a horse drawn
wagon for 1100 miles of this trail in 1987)
Lewis and Clark down the Missouri River (Les canoed the full length of the
Missouri River, about 2500 miles, to get the story for this program)
*Life Traveling over the
has logged in a total of well over 2000 miles crossing the
prairies very nearly as the 1800's travelers had - on foot, pack
horseback, and horse drawn wagon (single and team))
*Uses of Prairie Plants
been studying prairie plants since 1980)
(Les has been
making rope on a hand operated rope making machine since 1988)
has been presenting quality programs for over 20 years. All of his programs
If you would like to
learn more about the presenter, Les Vilda,click
TITLES and DESCRIPTIONS
A MODERN DAY
ENCOUNTER WITH THE SANTA FE TRAIL
Les Vilda's personal experiences on the Santa fe Trail in 1984 and 1987
combine with historical facts in a narrative slide presentation.
Les compares the modes of transportation, clothing and food
used as an 1800's re-enactor with the items used by actual trail
travelers of the 19th century. Many historical sites found
along the trail are examined as well as many of the "Signs", both old
and new, that mark the trail. If you were to travel the Santa
Trail today, even if you're traveling by automobile, what kinds of
things can you see that people recorded in their journals that they saw
in the 1800's.
(If you are a non-profit
organization, this program is offered through the Speaker's
the Nebraska Humanities Council.)
LIFE ON THE TRAIL
In a mock trail camp, you can see and hear about some of the clothing,
equipment, tools and food used along the Santa Fe, Oregon, and
California Trails in the early 1800's. Les will take you
through a "Typical" day on the trail and explain some of the daily
chores that were expected of the men, women and children while on thier
journey. This program is most commonly presented outdoors
where tent stakes can be driven into the ground. The program
can also be presented indoors with only a few modifications.
THE MISSOURI RIVER
From Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri, this slide
presentation will take you on a 2500 mile journey down the Missouri
River. Learn the history of the river, from the days of Lewis
and Clark, fur trappers, and explorers, to the days of river
channelization and hydro-electric power. Listen to the
adventures of modern day canoer as you enjoy the bearutiful sights of
this magnificent river.
USES OF PLANTS ON
Explore the world of prairie plants as seen through the eyes of the Native
Americans of the Plains and the early immigrant travelers crossing the
prairie. Find out which plants were used for food, tools,
games, toys, and more. Dried plant specimens are used in the
presentation to show what the plants look like and to point out their
you have an outdoor area, that doesn't get mowed, I can take your group
on a "nature hike" and point out the plants in their natural
environment. Of course, this could only be done in the late
spring, summer, or early fall when we can see and identify the plants.)
Lecture - Demonstration:
Learn about the evolution of hand made rope in the United
States from pre-1700 through the early 1900's. Rope making
techniques are examined, and demonstrated, beginning with a technique
used by the Native
Americans - twisting prairie grasses by hand. From there, we
will examine the two major catagories of hand operated rope making
machines (Non-Geared and Geared) that were available as European
immigrants began settling and moving West across what would become the
United States. Rope fibers, styles of machines, and uses for
rope are topics also covered.
Bring a bit of history and fun to your next event. This show
is a comedy spoof on the old original Medicine Shows of the late 1600's
through the early 1900's. The program begins with an
explanation of what a Medicine Show was, when they began, and the role
they played in the settling and development of the United States.
The program continues with a sample of what one of these
shows may have been like. Though the 'topics' of
entertainment in this Medicine Show are historically correct, the
'clutsy' Professor has a hard time making things
Professor Kaun Ewebadd, the spokesperson for the Dr. Rabi's Medicine
and Invention Company, will serve as your host. The Professor
encourages audience participation as he shares his magic, music,
stories, jokes, and zany inventions. His "Special Medicines"
are sure to tickle your funny bone.
The Professor puts on a family show, so don't be afraid to invite the
- This show has been known to "dazzle" and "amaze" its audiences!
Laughter - It's just
what the doctor ordered!
Each program is up to 60 minutes in length.
(40-45 minute programs are used to accomodate school period
All programs are presented in period correct (1800-1850)
Programs are adaptable to most any age group of audience.
Question and Answer periods are available, and encouraged,
at the end of each program.
REFERENCES are available upon request. Please
specify the program you're interested in.
additional program (Same program at the same place on the same day)..
- Mileage: $0.50 per mile round trip from Wilber, Nebraska
(Organizations block booking programs split the mileage fee)
by email for
bookings....or, you can reach him at the information below.
Les Vilda, PO Box 99, Wilber, NE 68465 (402) 821-3058