Executive Director’s MARCH BLOG 2015- Timothy F. Harley.    

Well, folks, it won’t be news to anyone, including our neighbor “Punxy Phil” that we are indeed in the grips of what seems will prove the old woodchuck correct!  The winter of 2015 has brought numerous winter storms and frigid temperatures.  We apologize to anyone who might have visited the museum on one of the couple days when we felt compelled to close.  We try to base this on school closings and recommendations from the weather service.  It is important to note here, that our museum is primarily staffed by our great volunteers and some fine students in the IUP work study program.  We salute them all for the time they give, helping us keep the important legacy of Jimmy Stewart accessible.  Their volunteerism is key to our operational bottom line.  Really, without their services, it would be a challenge to keep the very accommodating schedule that we run this museum on.  They are here because they enjoy being with us.  Welcoming and acquainting our guests from near and far with the meaningful legacy of James Stewart.  Join us for a visit, and you will find what wonderful and knowledgeable assets they are to our visitors.

Perhaps, it’s a good time to share with you some recent entries in our guest book: just to give you first, a sense of the geographic spread of some intrepid folks who traveled here in February, we had guests from: Clarksville, TN; Ontario, Canada; Royal Oak, MI; Phoenix, AZ; St. Augustine, FL; and one entry that proudly states: were from Indonesia!

—Now, for a few of the touching comments that fill those books: from Lawrence, KS- “A great museum- more than we expected!” from Chino Hills, CA- “motivated by his wonderful life to live my own”; from Chalfont, PA-“Wonderful! A great tribute to what is important in life”; from our own Indiana, PA-“good day spent with our family”; and to a certain couple from Pittsburgh who chose to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary with us, we send thanks for visiting and congratulations!  Friends….these type of entries go on and on, and are a testament to the importance we place on our mission.

Staffer, Nancy Empfield and I have been working to find some exciting new products for the museum store, and Nancy has sleuthed out , what I think is the largest representation of Stewart DVDs we have ever offered.  The 2015 tour season is approaching and we have updated our downloadable “Save the Date” reservation form and anticipate additional upgrades to our website.  Denise Liggett and Maria Jack are doing a fantastic job marketing the county and the museum, and if you’re considering a visit, be sure to visit the Indiana County Tourist Bureau website www.visitindianacountypa.org.  Volunteer, Tim Vanderburg continues to do a remarkable presentation on the Museum’s Face Book page!

You will note in our Matinee schedule for this month “Strategic Air Command”; we have included this for March in honor of the 70th anniversary of Mr. Stewart being promoted to Colonel on the 29th.

So, yes— a bit frigid here in Indiana County, PA….. But were here and hoping to welcome you and your friends to our very special tribute to a singularly special man: James Stewart.

See you soon, as ever: Thanks for listening, Tim