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50th Anniversary Celebration of Carl Sandburg continues

 

By Dasha Morgan – Wednesday, Oct. 17, the National Historic Site of Carl Sandburg’s Home in Flat Rock held a celebration for an iconic American poet who stood for social justice and influenced change. He had lived at Connemara with his wife Lillian (and Chikaming goats) for the last 22 years of his life (1945-1967).

Poetry readings were held at the new amphitheater at Connemara, Carl Sandburg’s home in Flat Rock, NC, for the 50th anniversary celebration.

If you happened to miss this event, the celebration will continue as The Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara invite you to the first Sandburg Movie Night on Sunday, October 28, at the Flat Rock Cinema.

During the early 1920’s, while working as a journalist in Chicago, Sandburg was a movie critic during the Silent Movie Era. “The Gold Rush,” starring Charlie Chaplin, was a sensation when it first opened at the Orpheum Theater in 1925. Sandburg watched it on three different occasions and had the opportunity to interview Charlie Chaplin on Sandburg’s first trip to Hollywood. Sandburg even reserved a set of his Lincoln books for Chaplin, whose art he found highly original and entertaining. He marveled at Chaplin’s universal language and said, “He speaks to all the peoples of the earth.”

Experience the nostalgia of days gone by and watch “The Gold Rush” on the big screen at the Flat Rock Cinema on Sunday, October 28th, at 4pm. You can come dressed in 1920s fashion (optional) and get into the spirit of the silent movie era. The movie runs approximately 95 minutes.

During the early 1920’s, while working as a journalist in Chicago, Sandburg was a movie critic during the Silent Movie Era. “The Gold Rush,” starring Charlie Chaplin, was a sensation when it first opened at the Orpheum Theater in 1925.

Sandburg watched it on three different occasions and had the opportunity to interview Charlie Chaplin on Sandburg’s first trip to Hollywood. Sandburg even reserved a set of his Lincoln books for Chaplin, whose art he found highly original and entertaining. He marveled at Chaplin’s universal language and said, “He speaks to all the peoples of the earth.”

To reserve a seat just RSVP at www.nps.gov/carl/planyourvisit/50th. Tickets will be sold at the door, but space is limited. Online reservations are the best way to obtain a seat. Ticket cost is $10 a person and will be collected at the cinema on the 28th. The $10 includes the movie, popcorn, and a soda, and a $5 donation to the Friends.
Last Wednesday at Connemara a full day of Sandburg’s life was celebrated with many attendees and volunteers. “People loved Sandburg’s poetry because they could see their lives, struggles, and hopes reflected and magnified in his words,” said Superintendent Polly Angelakis. “Sandburg became known as the Poet of the People because he honored every person, from every walk of life.

It is fitting that his home became a national park site, to be enjoyed by everyone, and we look forward to the next 50 years.” His poem The People, Yes was read by various volunteer readers. This is an epic prose-poem and is in many ways the culmination of Sandburg’s work as a poet. Believing that economic inequity lay at the root of all social injustice, from labor conflict to racial and civil strife, he responded to the economic and social upheavals of the 1930s with The People, Yes.

“The people is the grand canyon of humanity and many many miles across.
The people is a Pandora’s box, humpty dumpty, a clock of doom and an avalanche when it turns loose.
The people rest on land and weather, on time and the changing winds.
The people have come far and can look back and say,
‘We will go farther yet.’

Later In the afternoon at the 50th Anniversary Celebration, poets Glenis Redmond and Kimberly Simms reflected on and celebrated the Sandburg’s legacy. The House was available with tours every half hour, and a special Sandburg postmark anniversary stamp was available in the bookstore. The afternoon program at the new outdoor amphitheater then concluded with a folk music by award-winning musician Dan Zanes, who sang and played his guitar with his wife, Claudia and other musicians.

It reminded one that Sandburg himself often enjoyed sitting and singing with his family and friends. Many of Zanes’ songs were from his new CD album Parades and Panoramas: 25 Songs Collected by Carl Sandburg for the American Songbag. In addition Zanes sang “Willie the Weeper” and finished with “Down by the Riverside” as the audience clapped and joined in. The guests were treated to a slice of a delicious chocolate and vanilla anniversary birthday cake.

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