A Tale of Two HarborsHobos at the back door, guards on the railroad bridges, and a garden in every backyard.
Hobos at the back door, guards on the railroad bridges, and a garden in every backyard.
Those were some of the things that marked the challenging years between 1930 and 1945, years that included the Depression and World War II, years that some people still alive today can remember very well.
The third and last installment of A Tale of Two Harbors, which will be performed during Heritage Days, focuses on those years. In a series of letters from a couple who remained here, to their son and his family who moved away to look for work when times got tough, the story of the challenges, troubles, fun times and even little-known facts will unfold—like the letter from J. Edgar Hoover.
The performances in the Two Harbors High School auditorium will be Friday, July 10, at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. As in the past, refreshments will be served afterwards that include historically correct offerings among the more modern fare. Victory chocolate cake and depression cake—which pre-sampling has proven to be very tasty—will be featured this year. As in the first two plays, a simultaneous power point slide show will illustrate the stories being told with historical photos, and skits and songs will punctuate the performance.
A Tale of Two Harbors began in 2007 with the story of the town’s beginnings at Whiskey Row until 1899. In 2008, the story continued through 1929, and this year will take the story close enough to modern times that to go further couldn’t be called history.
“It’s not safe to write about a town when the people being written about could still be alive,” said Monica Isley, who has authored each of the three plays. “We thought it best to stop with the end of the war, when people’s hopes were high for a brighter future.”
The “we” includes Bunny Thomson, whose idea it was to tackle the ambitious three-year project. She coordinated the SAS program, which acted as the sponsoring organization for the plays. Local businesses and grants provided the funds to pay for producing what have been billed as “reading theater.” DVDs were made of each year’s production, and will again be available this year.
Local musician Tom Broadbent wrote original music for each of the installments, with the popular “Whiskey Row” being reprised for each one. Singers, dancers, actors and a myriad of behind-the scenes folks have worked to make history, and pride in the community, come alive.
Besides providing good entertainment, Thomson had a more community-minded goal when she conceived the play idea.
“I want people to be proud of this community and what has been accomplished here,” Thomson said. “I want them to look around and be glad this is their town.”