Journey Stories Opens in Spencer

(L to R) Jody Everhart, Larry Neal, Barbara Sammons, Shelley Crisp, Darrell Stover, and Bill Wilkerson

Journey Stories, a Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibition presented by the North Carolina Humanities Council, the Smithsonian Institution, and rural communities statewide, opened in Spencer at the North Carolina Transportation Museum on Saturday, January 5, 2013, for a six-week run.

Prior to the ribbon-cutting, dignitaries and friends of the museum shared journey stories of their own. One of the most fascinating was from retired Piedmont Airlines captain Bill Wilkerson. Wilkerson, who also serves as an aviation history volunteer at the museum, recounted the thrill of retracing the exact route Charles Lindberg took from the United States into Paris. He also spoke of the importance of museums and exhibitions such as Journey Stories to ignite a passionfor history in young people.

In addition to the Smithsonian exhibition, artist Barbara Sammons’s work is featured in the exhibition, Dusty Roads, the result of two of Sammons’s journey stories. First, Sammons spent her youth traveling old country roads, seeing abandoned vehicles. However, in reconnecting with and taking over care of her 93-year-old mother, she began traveling to some of the same places and photographing old vehicles in various states. She drew from her background as a writer to record the stories behind why the vehicles were where they were and what they meant to their drivers in the past. She uses special processing software to bring out the rich colors of the images, making some look like paintings. A few were displayed on canvasses to enhance that effect.

Special programing around the Journey Stories exhibition will begin on January 26 at the museum. Dr.  Bill Anderson will present Cherokee Removal, a lecture on the forced migration of the Cherokee. Information on other programs can be found at the museum’s website.