Welcome To the World of Two Crows
October 25, 2012
I did not realize, before I began working at the Library, that the Library was such a richly, layered place. I knew about checking out books and the wonderful storytimes for children. I had no idea what lay beneath the surface. One of the layers that really impressed me was the variety of programs that were offered to the public. I had no idea. I had only attended one or two programs at my local branch, and both of those were very informative and helpful. They did not lead me to the real scope of programs that are available.
It was back in 2000, when I began working full-time as an Adult Programming Facilitator, that I truly realized the magnitude of programming we offer. I was still young at the time. This is when I met one of my most memorable presenters that offers programming for us: Mr. Jim "Two Crows" Wallen. Mr. Wallen has so many wonderful programs to offer, and I know that we have not had all of them. I think it might be impossible to have them all! If you have not attended one of his programs, I would strongly encourage you to do so.
I recently decided that I had to write a blog about him. He offers so many fine programs that I would hate for our customers to miss even one. Not only that, but you must meet the man behind the stories. He brings the people he portrays to life in a way that only he can do. You feel as if you are right there! You are trudging with Lewis and Clark up the Missouri river or traveling the Sante Fe Trail. If you are small, you get to meet Santa for the very first time. No matter what subject, you are taken to that time and place by his voice, his attire, and the way that he portrays his characters. Join me as we meet Jim "Two Crows" Wallen.
When asked how he got started he replied, "I was very fortunate to have grown up in a rich oral heritage. My great-grandfather was full-blood Cherokee. I was the oldest of 23 grandchildren and was well into my teen years before he passed away. He would always say, "Jim you’re the only one interested in the old stories." Then he would tell me a traditional Cherokee tale. My grandfather, Jimmie Crow Wallen, whom I was named after, was the best tall-tale teller I ever knew. He was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks and would tell stories putting people and places you knew, and then just whop you upside the head with the punch line to the story. My dad, Ivan Wallen, was not a storyteller, but he gave me a love of history. He collected and restored 1928-1931 Model A Ford cars and trucks. In 1980, I started working with a scout group called Royal Rangers, and every Wednesday night I would tell the boys a devotional story about the fur traders or Native Americans. Every Wednesday, the boys wanted a new story. In 1983, my nephew called and asked if I would come to his school and bring all my stuff. I took a table full of artifacts and told some stories to his class. His teacher told another teacher and so on and as they say the rest is history."
I asked Jim about his favorite program and he stated, "My favorite program is usually the latest one that I have developed. I have to have a passion for the subject material, and when that happens, I know I have a program that the audience will enjoy. My current passion is for my Civil War program. There are thousands of interesting stories that came out of that conflict, and I can't wait to share my stories with my audiences."
Mr. Wallen or "Two Crows" has been providing programs to MCPL since the mid to late ‘80s. He looks forward to doing quality programs in the years to come.
We are having Jim Wallen at North Oak for these following programs:
November 6, 2012, Tuesday at 7:00 PM
600,000 Silent Voices: Stories from the Civil War
More than 620,000 men, women, and children died during the Civil War. Storyteller Jim Two Crows Wallen had 16 ancestors who served in the conflict. His program will focus on the people, not military or political actions. Speaking in first person as Chaplain William Maple of the 49th Indiana Infantry, he will tell the powerful stories of the women, children, and soldiers affected by the war, as well as discuss the prelude to war and the border war. Jim Two Crows Wallen is the great grandson of Chaplain Maple. (Ages 10 and up) Registration is required.
December 20, 2012, Thursday at 10:30 AM
Jim "Two Crows" Wallen Presents: A Visit With Santa Claus
Get in the Christmas spirit! Kids, come visit with Santa and listen as he tells an exciting holiday story. Bring Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, and a camera. Also make a simple craft to take home. An adult must accompany each child. (All ages) Registration is required.
Look here for other programs by Jim Wallen.
North Oak Branch