Welcome to Page 5...  Day Two! - Page 2  (Saturday, May 26th, 2007)

Once the parade was over, we packed up our gear and headed over to the Birthplace again which was just on the other side of the block where they were going to do the groundbreaking ceremony.  We ended up meeting some more people that had just showed up.  There was a couple from the UK that also belonged to The John Wayne Film Society that we talked to for the longest time.  I gave them a few of our buttons to take back with them.  We also made another trip inside the gift shop and bought a couple books from the authors that were there.  Roger Crowley was selling and signing a couple of his books.  The lines were getting a lot longer in front of the gift shop, I kind of made the mistake of waiting in one and it drained my energy so I needed to rest for a while before the groundbreaking...  

John Wayne Birthplace Museum and Learning Center

This was one of the big events of the day.  The groudbreaking ceremony for the new John Wayne Birthplace Museum and Learning Center.  A $5.5 million dollar high-tech facility that will teach generations to come about the legendary John Wayne.  Plans have been developed for construction of an 8,500 square foot Museum and Learning Center adjacent to the John Wayne Birthplace.  This new facility will provide an exciting, interactive experience for the whole family.

You can become a part of this facility and help in it's construction.  Simply click on the brochure for your copy and make your donation today.  Help make this project become a reality!  From the description that was in the program for the celebration weekend, you'll enter the museum fron John Wayne Drive and enter into the lobby area.  On the left side of the lobby will be an information booth, with a gift shop entrance further back and to the left.  After buying a ticket at the information booth, you can enter a 50-seat theater for a short orientation session or a movie.  Exit the theater from a right side door into the stagecoach gallery room.  Proceed right and explore the interactive I-wall which will include John Wayne photographs.  Then back to the lobby and enter the massive gift shop.  I'm sure Carolyn and the ladies will like the much larger area to sell the memorabilia.  All this is being done to education the youth of tomorrow and to keep the legend alive.  I can't wait for the dedication ceremony.

Here are some photos from the groundbreaking ceremony and the statue unveiling.  You might recognize some of the people in the photos.  In the second photo... right side of the photo you'll see someone in a blue shirt and a black cowboy hat.  And is wearing an officials badge, just to the right of the camera guy.

Ethan getting some
equipment instructions.

Guest speaker
Bob Boze Bell

Ethan Wayne after
the unveiling.

The gas station
after the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Ethan Wayne
posing for a picture.

Unfortunately it was pretty hard to see at the groundbreaking ceremoney and statue unveiling.  They didn't have anything special set up for wheelchairs so I was a small dot in the huge crowd that had gathered.  Several people spoke from Bob Boze Bell to Ethan Wayne who finally pulled the cord to unveil the massive statue of his father as shown to the right.  To really see what I missed I'll have to wait and see the DVD that is suppose to be sold eventually from the Birthplace gift shop.  I did finally have a chance to make my way to the statue and take a few photos.  Then we got in the line to talk to Ethan.  We had him sign our program and he noticed my John Wayne Cancer Foundation ballcap.

Go to the JWCF website and get your ballcap and while your at it you can contribute to the foundation at the same time.  They also have GRIT and Heart t-shirts in both men and womens sizes, beanies, bandanas, temporary tattoo packs, sunscreen and logo stickers.  Your donations are tax deductible.

After the groundbreaking and statue unveiling we had a lot of time on our hands.  We wanted to spread out our activities in case it got warm or I got tired.  The next item on our agenda was the Michael Martin Murphey concert but we had tickets to the 6:30 p.m. concert.  So we headed out to the fairgrounds to see what was happening and to check out the vendors.  We had heard because of the hard rain that the Wild West Revue had to be cancelled because the grandstand was just too muddy.  They ended up moving the Murphey concert to a smaller covered shelter out of the rain and where it wasn't muddy.  The only problem was that the concert was restricted and only a few of the others besides Murphey could perform.

Eventually we found out that they had to turn away people at the 1:30 p.m. show since they had to put it in a smaller complex.  And Murphey was gracious enough to add a 3:30 concert to help with the rain problems.  Some people headed over to the 4:00 p.m. Cowboy Symposium which I heard was a complete sell-out.  Also after some persuading it sounded as if Pilar Wayne got on an early morning flight on Saturday and came to the celebration.  She was also at the 4:00 p.m. Symposium.  That's why I can't wait to see the DVD of those events.

We had tickets to the Symposium on Sunday and had already fought crowds all day so we just stuck around for the Murphey concert that evening but we found out we could go the 3:30 p.m. Murphey concert even if we had evening tickets so we decided to jump right on that opportunity.  I think the rain just took a toll on attendance on Saturday.  The only ones that really got to perform were Brian Dausch a trick rider/roper, Annie Oakley along with Michael Martin Murphey.  Time for more photos:

Brian Bausch (Rider/Roper)
Annie Oakley
Cossack Ivan the Black
(Poor Ivan didn't get to perform)

Michael Martin Murphey
Michael Martin Murphey and the Band

The fortuante part of being able to grab an early show is we got out early and had the rest of the night to ourselves.  It had been a hectic two days so were took advantage of the free time and headed back to the hotel.  Something we didn't hear about until we got back tot he hotel and met on of the Wayne family, Mark, one of the grandchildren.  Mark told us the family was invited to a barbaque back at the fairgrounds so they could mingle with the fans and it seemed to be a leisure time for them too.  Then as we headed upstairs we met one of the girls that works at Wayne Enterprises and chatted for awhile.  They all mention my JWCF ballcap.  We then headed tot he room, ordered room service and relaced for the night.  That was our rainy but exciting day two of the weekend.  Stay tuned... we still have one more day to talk about.

If you would like to see all my photos from Day Two, first you must be a member of the new JWMB and second you must request permission from me through the board messaging system.  This is only so I don't overload my bandwidth.  Here is the address for the photos:  Day Two Digital Images