Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Little Help for George Bailey's Museum

It's always surprising when I meet someone who's managed to avoid seeing "It's a Wonderful Life," simply because it's so ubiquitous this time of year. And I've never minded that saturation because it's actually an incredibly well made film. And that's thanks in no small part to Jimmy Stewart.

While I didn't see "It's a Wonderful Life" this year, there usually isn't more than a month or two gap between me seeing one Jimmy Stewart film or another. From his work with Hitchcock, to "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (another Frank Capra great), to "Harvey," his films, his manner, and even the way a suit hangs on him have all been pretty massive influences on me and my work.

So when I was searching online for the audio version of "It's a Wonderful Life" this year (thanks to my wife for alerting me to the broadcast), I was delighted to stumble across the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pennsylvania. I was not delighted to see that the economy has hit the museum just as hard as everywhere else.

Speaking as someone who came from a small town in Ohio obsessed with Ulysses S. Grant (who lived there as a boy), I can attest that small museums and curiosities like this are one of the things that make small towns great. Seeing these dusty displays, thinking of the process the curators went through including this or that knickknack, all of these stories within stories are worth far more than any donation asked at the door.

If you've been as affected by Jimmy Stewart's work as I have, or if you're just a fan of small town museums in general, please donate to the museum. Even $10 can go a long way for a small operation like this.

After all, the old Building & Loan made a comeback with just one Momma dollar and one Poppa dollar.

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