First, it was such a privilege to be hosted by the Adams County Arts Council Center. It’s a place where the arts inspire, engage and entertain people everyday. I thought it was the perfect setting to present a work of historical photography.
Just as the program was set to begin, I looked out toward the Main Gallery entrance, and the line was literally out the door. I could feel the energy in the room….it seemed like magic was in the air. Chris Glatfelter, the Director of the Center, kicked-off the program by introducing our “MC” Stan McGee, from the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry. Stan outlined the program for the evening and introduced Chris Ziegler, National Park Service at Hardin, Montana. Chris described how the project to photograph and write about the artifacts of Little Big Horn started initially, and how I got permission to photograph the entire onsite National Park collection of those artifacts.
I felt very honored that Ted Streeter, the Mayor of Gettysburg, came to participate in our event. The Mayor introduced Chris Gwinn, a Supervisor Park Ranger at the Gettysburg National Park, and me. Chris interviewed me “Charlie Rose” style, using his Masters Degree in Public History to help the audience explore lesser-known aspects of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Through his questions we were able to shine a light on the tension between morals and duty; explore the varying points of view about Custer’s actions and the strategy of the 7th Cavalry; and describe the fate of the Indian Warriors at the battle. Our discussion highlighted how the history of a battle so well known to millions around the world is also filled with lots of mystery and lore.
I want to thank the table of historians, including Bruce Liddic and Dave Harrington, who kept me on the right track. Thanks to all those who waited in line for me to sign their book, their awesome comments and to the fantastic team that put the event together.
Just to wind up, I simply cannot adequately express my gratitude to all the people who shared the evening with me and made this unforgettable evening possible.