Monday, February 2, 2009

deFuniak Springs Chautauqua

Yes, there are other Chautauquas, and one of them is at deFuniak Springs, Florida. It has only one building, also housing the Chamber of Commerce, in a lovely spot near one of the two round lakes in Florida. The events of the conference were held there, at the nearby Methodist and Presbyterian churches, the Community Center and the Fairgrounds.

There were a number of exhibits, but the best was one in which each of the 53 African countries (I think there are 54, but maybe Fernanco Po was left out) was chosen by a local elementary, middle or high school class and illustrated in a 6' by 10' space. The exhibits were imaginative and informative--a great project.

I DID get to be a speaker after all, as there was a last-minute cancellation and I magnanimously stepped into the breach. (I had been disappointed when I learned of the conference too late to be on the speakers' list.) I showed my PowerPoint presentation and the cloth and artifacts that I hadn't used to decorate the Tea Room at the Community Center, and there was much interest and many good questions.

I did sell some books and had a good time, learned a lot and met many interesting people. I had a homestay with a lovely lady, and all in all it was a worthwhile visit.

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