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LIVING HISTORY PROGRAMS...by Les Vilda

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PROGRAM TITLES and DESCRIPTIONS

COST and BOOKING INFORMATION


Welcome to the PROGRAMS page!

This page offers some very interesting, fun, and educational LIVING HISTORY PROGRAMS (U.S. History 1800-1850).
***Les Vilda doesn't just regurgitate information from the history books - HE'S LIVED IT!!***
Some of 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)
*Following 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 Prairie Trails (Les has logged in a total of  well over 2000 miles crossing the prairies very nearly as the 1800's travelers had - on foot, pack donkey, horseback, and horse drawn wagon (single and team))
*Uses of Prairie Plants (Les has been studying prairie plants since 1980)
*Rope Making  (Les has been making rope on a hand operated rope making machine since 1988)
Les Vilda has been presenting quality programs for over 20 years.  All of his programs receive high praise.
If you would like to learn more about the presenter, Les Vilda,
click here.  


PROGRAM 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 he 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 Fe 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 Bureau with 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 BY CANOE

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 THE PRAIRIE

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 useable parts.
(If 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.)

ROPE MAKING

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.

DR. RABI'S MEDICINE SHOW

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 work.  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 kids.

CAUTION - This show has been known to "dazzle" and "amaze" its audiences!

Laughter - It's just what the doctor ordered!


BOOKING INFORMATION

PROGRAM INFORMATION

PROGRAM COST

First Program ............................................................................................... $250.00
Each additional program (Same program at the same place on the same day).. $125.00
PLUS - Mileage:  $0.50 per mile round trip from Wilber, Nebraska  (Organizations block booking programs split the mileage fee)

Contact Les  by email for bookings....or, you can reach him at the information below.

Les Vilda, PO Box 99, Wilber, NE 68465 (402) 821-3058


Copyright  2003-2017. Have Donkey Will Travel. All Rights Reserved.
Page last revised: 9/27/2017