MOUNT VERNON — Archeologist, geologist, historian, folklorist, collector, storyteller, writer and “Master of the Temple of Tolerance,” James Bowsher will return to the Chautauqua Series on Thursday at 7 p.m., at ThePlace@TheWoodward, 111 S. Main St.
Bowsher has appeared several times over the span of the Chautauqua Series, now in its 7th season and according to his biography, “His eclectic interests appeared at a very early age. A former teacher was asked what Jim was like in school. She replied, ‘I don’t know. I never got to see him because he was like a hummingbird.’”
He says that, at age 7, he heard that the oldest Civil War veteran was hospitalized in Toledo (93 road miles from Wapakoneta) and persuaded his father to take him to visit (and make a tape recording now in the Library of Congress). Jim makes his living telling stories to schools, civic clubs, and prisons, usually illustrating his points with artifacts from his extensive collections. He talks with equal ease about Native Americans, the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan, the Holocaust, and the atomic bomb. He says his current task is to set to paper a series of 30 books which he’s written in his head. He has no computer or email.
According to Mike Petee, Chautauqua organizer, “Jim is an amazing speaker and includes objects from wood held by Abraham Lincoln to brass knuckles used by Jesse James, a cup once owned by 10-year-old James Earl Ray, a bill of lading for a slave to a piece of the Berlin Wall. Once he starts you can hear a pin drop and when he’s done you can’t believe the time flew by.”
Bowsher will start his hi-storytelling at 7 p.m. at ThePlace@TheWoodward, a first floor facility that is accessible to people with special needs, doors open at 6. The series is presented by Elixir on a donation basis with all proceeds going to the speaker and rental and is supported in part by the Ohio Humanities Council, Ariel Foundation and Rolls-Royce Charities/Civic Fund. For more information on this and future programs visit online at www.elixirpresents.com or call 740-392-3016.
Published on October 21, 2013