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National History Day – California – Tulare County a Huge Success

This was my first year in the past twelve years NOT to coordinate Tulare County’s History Day event.  The job now falls on my dear friend, Joy Soares, who took my place as the History Consultant at the County Office.  She has enough energy and ideas for three people, and indeed more than three people kept very busy bringing this exciting day to fruition.

Joy Soares dressed in 1940s style including a black line drawn up her leg.  Styling, Joy!

Joy Soares dressed in 1940s style including a black line drawn up her leg. Styling, Joy!

My job in all of this was to represent two volunteer organizations, San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies (SJVCSS), and Tulare County Historical Society (TCHS).  Both organizations had booths, and both gave scholarships to students.  This was the first year we named any of the donations from these organizations.

Three tables for three organizations.  Tulare Treasures, TCHS, and SJVCSS

Three tables for three organizations. Tulare Treasures, TCHS, and SJVCSS  See me manning the tables?  OK I’m a little ghostly, but there’s my coat.    800 ISO picture – much better!

Two individuals from TCHS were especially instrumental in bringing TCHS and History Day together, Stan Barnes and Madeline Franz.  When I first started coordinating History Day, the Fresno County Historical Society actively supported the Fresno County event, and I didn’t even know who the Tulare County Historical Society was or how to find them.  Then Sharon Doughty created a website, and I made a phone call.  That next year Madeline Franz judged for our event.  The next year she brought friends, Don MacMillian, Terry Ommen, and Stan Barnes.

Madeline is a kick.  You'd love her.  Her daughter is sitting next to her.

Madeline is a kick. You’d love her. Her daughter is sitting next to her.  You can see Terry Ommen behind her with his arm up like he is taking a picture.  He was. 

Stan was particularly taken with the project, and insisted that the Society donate money as long as it didn’t get swallowed in a “black hole.”  The society also contributed a large amount to a group of students from Kingsburg, CA who were going to National History Day in Washington, D.C.  What an opportunity for students who had never been out of Tulare County!  TCHS bought tee shirts one year so that when our students went to state they all dressed alike one night and really stood out in the crowd of thousands of students.  This year was the first year that the Society specified scholarship amounts, and named the scholarships.  Unfortunately, Stan Barnes passed away just a few weeks ago, so did not see what the scholarship named for him will do for students.  His daughter attended the awards ceremony.

Stan Barnes' daughter is at the ceremony to present the scholarship with President, Jill Brown.

Stan Barnes’ daughter is at the ceremony to present the scholarship with President, Jill Brown.  Stan’s daughter is the smiling blond woman looking towards me.  The blond in the background was my boss at TCOE when I retired.  Jill Brown is not wearing brown, but yellow.

Madeline also participated in the awards ceremony, bringing her family with her.  TCHS President, Jill Brown presented both awards.

Seating was tight, so I had a hard time getting in to get the right angle on the picture.  I still need a lot of work as a professional photographer!

Seating was tight, so I had a hard time getting in to get the right angle on the picture. I still need a lot of work as a professional photographer!  Someone was not extremely excited to be there for the presentation part.  This is Madeline’s family.

SJVCSS is the local affiliate council of the California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) It is a professional organization for social studies teachers, administrators, and professors, and really is NON-profit.  Each year since I started as coordinator the organization gave $50 to History Day, and I used it to purchase things we needed for the event.  This year we upped it to $100 and created an Exhibit Scholarship in the name of Marvin Awbrey, Father of History Day.  Marvin is from Fresno County, just north of us.  He IS the Father of History Day in California, the man who brought it to Fresno County, then the state.  He also served as the judge captain of the Exhibits Category for many years.  At the awards ceremony yesterday, I made a presentation speech, and Marvin gave the scholarship to a deserving exhibit designer, Mr. Wilson.

By this time, I had learned to bring folks where I want them, not take a snapshot!  I learn SO slowly!  :)

By this time, I had learned to bring folks where I want them, not take a snapshot! I learn SO slowly! 🙂

I will write a more professional article that has student names and a little less silliness for the Los Tulares, the TCHS quarterly magazine available to members.   My blogging friends have to put up with all my foibles, bad photography, and antics.  It is SO fun to be retired and be able to be silly.  There is something to be said for that second childhood!

Here are some other photos if you are a parent or an interested bystander that just loves HD.

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24 replies »

  1. Ha! I take snapshots anywhere and everywhere rather than inconveniencing people by moving them where I might want them to be. Then I simply take the snapshop to Photoshop…….lol


    • I know, was that a great shot of you???? Adorable, I think! Did your mom see it? I love you to the moon and back, too! BTW, Berna called. Doesn’t she know it’s WAY too cold to do what she want’s to do???? Kids are so funny!!! What are you doing this weekend. Give me a call. 🙂


      • Awwww, I think it is adorable too! My mom did not see it. She doesn’t get online too often anymore. LOL! Berna called?! I wonder how she remembered your number without me there. What did she want? Wait, let me guess, swimming? She is so silly. She has been busy perfecting her History Day paper and writing an essay for Foundations for Life. Busy little beaver that girl is. This weekend we don’t have plans. I can call you tomorrow if that works? ❤


        • That works beautifully! I asked Taliah if she had called. She smiled, but didn’t admit it. 🙂 Give Busy Berna, Excitable Edward, and Cuddly Chloe a big hug from G & G Einstein! 🙂


  2. Huge improvement in the photos! You are certainly busy with community education events! This is so great to support all those students and their parents, etc. I feel worn out just looking at the events. Take care, Steve


      • I am resigned to not retiring. Had retirement funds long time ago, sunk it into a writing business set up just after 9-11-worst timing. Lost it, am back working for the Corp world since 2004. Hope things slow down, but you are doing so much for education of our youth, vital to our country and future.


        • Oh bummer! V did that long ago. He put all his retirement funds into a building business, and one of the partners put it in a Swiss bank account and left the country. He was bankrupt for a while. Struggled, then he met me, and Voila! Here he is doing fine again, but that was about 19 years ago. He still doesn’t have a retirement account, but he gets social security, and sells real estate. So he does ok. He probably won’t ever retire totally either. He loves to have money to spend! 🙂


          • Yeah, that moola does help, like to live, go to conferences, etc, attend job interviews! None yet. Glad V got things back together. You helped him get back!! A beautiful story, I bet.


          • As with all stories, it hasn’t been without bumps, but we are both much better off now than we were 18 years ago – in all sorts of areas. And that affects the rest of our families as well.

            Life is definitely a challenge, but full of wonderful surprises, friends, beauty, and blessings. I know from your website – and from Babs that yours is full of many wonderful things as well! 🙂


          • So excited to hear how much better you both are and that you found each other. Yes, lots of surprises etc. Something new and wild every day. Tonight we found a new insect creature at the Barnes and Noble bookstore. Babs has pix, it is a Mole cricket, usually in wet burrows and not in parking lots.


          • Well, there are so many creature to get to know. Multiple bird species fly over my car on the way to work, any park here has dozens of different animals to see. Hard to not bump into them! Thanks for the comment.


          • The fact that you can call them more than bird, or even ducks, is what is impressive. Most of us see them, and say, “O there’s a pretty duck. Or, “Look at that butterfly. I wonder what kind it is.” End of comments. Move on with life. “Guess what I had for breakfast? Did you hear what Randy said at the dance last night.” You get what I mean. I put myself in the more boring, banal, gossipy category of conversations.





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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