The Society for Strang Studies
founded in 2000 to facilitate research into the life and accomplishment of James Jesse Strang

   

 
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The Society for Strang Studies
Chair - Bill Olson, Vice Chair - Vickie Speek,
Secretary - Rebecca Carlson, Treasurer - Constance Cappel

Issue No. 23
July 9, 2006

JULY 9th, 2006 - exactly 150 years ago James Jesse Strang died in a Wisconsin farmhouse.

Annual Meeting Minutes

"Big Man Dead"
Society for Strang Studies
Conference 2006

Meeting called to order by Chairman William Olson at 2:30 PM, 6/17/06 (Conference Room Emerald Isle Hotel)
A motion to dispense with the minutes from the 2005 meeting passed.
Overview of 2006 Conference/Meeting
Overall comments of conference/re-enactment/play are positive – encouraging for future conferences
Suggestion for script revisions to re-enactment (more mature actors) and Bill’s play
Suggestion for Living History presentations for future conferences: Print Shop/fishing and lumbering/day-to-day household activities during Mormon period
Strong participation from visitors/islanders during presentation of conference papers, re-enactment, and Bill Olson’s play
Need sources for funding:
Applying for more grants
Sell papers/videos of the conference (publish papers presented at the conference and assemble into a booklet for sale)
Get a grant for funding publication of conference papers
Do we include John Baldwin’s play?
Current Finances – Connie made a report on the state of the SSS’s finances and asked to be replaced as the Treasurer.
Daniel Allis (Strang descendent) has agreed to help as treasurer. Dan suggested organizing funds/dues and put into his law firm trust acct. (iota acct???)
Also suggested to have a paper trail (need a 5013C?) -- $400 filing fee, but helpful in getting grants and large donations.
Bill C. proposed to use the web design funds to pay Simon Otto ($300 fee/$160 hotel/ferry tickets). Other fees include: $100 parish hall, $$ for materials for building re-enactment set.
Donations from 2006 Conference will be deposited to checking acct. – check will be sent to D. Allis to set up new SSS acct.
2007 Conference:
Suggestions were made to switch meeting locations to Burlington, WI? Voree,WI? – many sites to see (Hill of Promise, burial site, Strang homesite).
Also suggestions about usability of The Brothers Place on B.I. as the main venue. The new community center and parish hall suggested.
Encourage more participation from practicing Strangites in visiting island and attending the conference. Send invite to Burlington to encourage interest. --- Build bridges with Strangite leaders.
Motion to have Conference on Beaver Island on Father’s Day Weekend, 2007 passed.
New Officers of SSS – motion to fill four officers seats passed. Four people needed to fill: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary.
Chair: Bill Olson
Vice-Chair: Vicki Speek
Treasurer: Daniel Allis
Secretary: Rebecca Carlson
The 2006 Conference meeting was adjourned at 3:45 P.M..
Respectfully,
Rebecca Carlson, Secretary

Dr. John J. Baldwin (1931-2005)

The Conference was dedicated to the memory of Dr. John J. Baldwin, one of the founders of the SSS. The following quote was in the program at John's funeral at the suggestion of his son, Rob.

"All the works of man are destined to decay. Monuments of greatness and creations of luxury: memorials of antiquity and structures of today: palace of princes, halls of legislatures, and cells of prisoners, all the works of art and alike the systems of intellect fall before the tooth of time. Even the soul inspiring poetry must die with the language in which it is written. And fame, fame alone of all productions of man's folly 'may' survive."
Strang! King of All the Nation! by John Baldwin 1982

The following are a few pictures taken at the conference:

Ted Sirotko gave an excellent overview of Strang's life.

John Quinn showed us how Strang drew on our Greco-Roman heritage.

Bill Olson discussed the Great Lakes Superhighway during the mid to late 19th Century and how it affected the Beaver Island Mormons.

Vickie Speek posited that both the Strangites and the Gentiles were to blame for the problems on Beaver Island.

Connie Cappel introduced us to the language and legends of the Odawa which was the tribe living on Beaver when Strang arrived. Connie has just edited a book, Odawa Language and Legends.

A group of students reenacted the shooting of JJ Strang at the exact place (across from the Print Shop Museum) and at the time exactly 150 years after it occurred. There was a large crowd observing the event. The stage set included the USS Michigan seen here and the store just to the left out of the picture.

Bill Olson's play, Shades of Beaver Island, was read by five Beaver Islanders. Shown here are Mary and James as played by Jayne Bailey and Phil Becker.

Vickie Speek had copies of her new book, God Has Made Us A Kingdom, which she sold and autographed.

Vickie's comments on the conference:
"I think we had a great conference this year. I would publically like to thank Bill Olson, Bill Cashman and Rebecca for the many, many hours of hard work they put in. They really did a great job, especially considering the conference was dropped in their laps at the last moment (by me). There were so many jobs behind the scenes that needed to be done; they did it all and did it well.

"The papers that were presented were all top notch and represented a great deal of original research. I really think they brought out topics for further research and study. The reenactment was well done and served as a hands on learning experience for the kids. While, I think some of the adjectives should be left out of the script to present a more objective story, the writing was top notch. Thank you, Bill C. for doing that.
"The play was very interesting and well acted. Bill O. wrote a script that was performable and brought out some interesting bits of characterization. I can't imagine James Strang in a worse kind of hell than having to sit and read the same newspaper each and every day. That was a great idea, Bill.

"I really liked the discussion that Rebecca lead after the play. I think it was good to discuss the play, the reenactment and other subjects with the public, not just our group. That's the way you learn and make things better.

"My favorite part of the conference was interacting and conversing with the members of the Strang gang. I have developed some good friendships with them over the past couple of years and it was nice to hear about the things going on in their lives. I've also made some new friends with some of the Beaver Islanders. That's cool, too. All in all, it was a fun and informative weekend spent in good company!"

Bill Cashman reports that on July 4th six young people arrived at the Museum wearing King Strang t-shirts; they were from L.A., and want to make a movie about Strang!

Please send your $10 membership fee made out to Society for Strang Studies to:
Daniel F. Allis
6915 South 77th East Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74133

 

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