MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

June 22, 2014

Library brings ‘True Grit’ to life

Celebrate the True Grit of early-day Oklahoma by participating in activities at Muskogee Public Library and at other branches throughout the Eastern Oklahoma Library System.

There’s still time to participate before the True Grit program concludes at the end of June. “True Grit” enthusiasts can do a reverse migration and cross the Arkansas River to experience old Fort Smith. A visit is planned on June 28 to the “scene of the crime” and the trials and many other happenings from the novel and which affected the residents of Indian Territory. Participants will meet at the National Historic Site in Fort Smith at 9:30 a.m. and go to Judge Parker’s courtroom to take part in a program that discusses the fact/fiction of “True Grit.” There will also be a program on execution.

Following a break for lunch in the downtown area, the group will ride the trolley and view a short shootout, courtesy of the Lawbreakers and the Peacemakers. The last stop will be Miss Laura’s Social Club and Visitor’s Center.

For more information and to sign up, contact Jeremy Jones at Muskogee Public Library, (918) 682-6657. Participants are responsible for their transportation and fees, which are estimated to be $10, plus lunch.

While “Grit” enthusiasm is running high, Jim Edwards, expert on Oklahoma authors, history and books, will return to the library at 7 p.m.  July 14, to present an “All Oklahoma” program. He previously presented a program on book collecting for an enthusiastic audience at the Muskogee County Genealogical Society. This time he will focus on one of his main passions: Oklahoma books and authors.

Muskogee Public Library has hosted several activities on the “True Grit” theme with the Book Club studying the book and viewing the film. Afternoon teas have been held with Miss Alice Robertson and first lady Martha Washington sharing their adventures as women with true grit. A root beer float social featured a remote visit with Judge Parker in Fort Smith and rangers at the national site. Various discussions have explored the truth and the myth of “True Grit.” “Grit” characters even invaded the meetings of the Friends of the Library and Leadership Muskogee.

“True Grit” was basic survival skills for early Oklahomans. Explore the history of these ancestors when the Muskogee County Genealogical Society joins with the library in hosting a Lock-In at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The society will hold its end of the society year barbecue dinner, featuring the award-winning barbecue of President Alissa Hill. Those attending will bring side dishes and desserts.

The back door of the library opens at 6 p.m. for the meal and for the evening, which concludes at 10 p.m. Non-members are welcome to attend. All are asked to call or visit the Genealogical and Local History Department to register for the event. After the meal, those attending can research via computer, microfilm and books until the event concludes at 10 p.m.

Those attending may leave when they wish, but will not be allowed to return and security will be available to escort participants to their vehicles. Call (918) 682-6657, ext. 3, to register and for information.

Entries are being accepted until June 30 for the annual writing contest for adults which has the theme “What is True Grit?” Categories include both fictional story and non-fiction essay. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony during Murder Mystery Dinner. Contest information is available at the library.

So get some “grit in your gizzard” and explore the wonderful, wild, exciting past of the state of Oklahoma.

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