Archive for Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Video preserves history of Vinland

December 10, 2003

What started as an idea to introduce some of Vinland's history to elementary students will actually end up preserving it instead.

"Historical Look at Vinland" is a video compilation of stories and recollections about the Vinland Fair, basketball games against neighboring towns, home life and days at school told by some of Vinland's oldest residents.

"I thought this was a very worthwhile project in ensuring some of these people and their stories would be remembered for a long time to come," Bill Scott, principal at Vinland Elementary School, said.

VES and its site council spent the last five years researching, interviewing, gathering stories and editing video before completing the 25-minute video presentation.

Site council member Bill Finucane said the idea for the video began when the school was looking for ways to teach the students about Vinland's history and compare it to present day.

"We wanted to try to give today's kids an idea what life was like in the early twentieth century," Finucane said. "It was just to give kids an idea that life wasn't quite as easy as it appears to be today."

So the site council turned to some of Vinland's residents for help.

"We thought the experience of people growing up in Vinland would make a pretty interesting topic for a video," Scott said. "So we videotaped the people who actually lived in Vinland at that time when Vinland could have become a thriving little town."

Several hours of tape was recorded with interviews from about a dozen residents. Finucane said the stories varied, but all remembered one particular event.

"Everybody we interviewed, they all had very vivid memories of the Vinland Fair," he said. "They all said how much they looked forward to the Vinland Fair."

Scott said with the help of Baker University's communications department, the video was edited and old photographs of Vinland and music from the 1920s and '30s were added to accompany the interviews.

Included at the end of the video is a summary of Vinland's history with Kansas University sports broadcaster Max Falkenstien.

Finucane said the video is a unique project.

"You don't see things like this at too many places," he said.

Copies of the video can be ordered by calling 594-3912 or (888) 660-1288. Video copies are $10, DVDs are $12.

Scott said the money from video sales will go into the school's playground fund.

Finucane said the complete, unedited video could be found in VES's library.

Not only would the video be of interest to people who grew up or lived in the Vinland area, he said it was also a good educational tool.

"We felt it was important to keep the historical aspect of the people who grew up there alive today," he said. "It's the idea of keeping Vinland history alive."

Scott agreed video would be important in helping save the memories of Vinland.

"This preserves a piece of history that could potentially be lost forever," he said.

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