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posted: 10/29/2012 3:17 PM

Living History program in Schaumburg to portray Barbara Walters, John Stetson

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By Susan Miura

"There are two kinds of people in this world " How often have you heard someone begin with that phrase? Well add me to the list. There are two kinds of people in this world, those who hear the word "history" and yawn, and those whose ears perk up.

Dare I say there's a way of melding the two?

Even skeptics can often be swayed when history is transformed into real people with real transgressions, conflicts, tears, fears and triumphs through the magic of living history portrayals. Since we can't always hear from the people who experienced the long-ago events, the Schaumburg Township District Library schedules programs with talented actors who bring our famous (and sometimes infamous) politicians, scientists, movie stars and others to life.

Two such programs are coming up soon. Please remember to register by calling (847) 923-3347 if you plan to attend.

Come and meet the "real" Barbara Walters by attending "Barbara Walters' Audition" from 7:30-9 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5, in the Rasmussen South Room. Find out how this celebrated interviewer cut through the glass ceiling and managed to be on the cutting edge of television performance for 40 years. Was she just lucky -- or did she create her "luck" with hard work and chutzpah? And how did she get that first big interview with Barbra Streisand and her live-in hairdresser? You're going to learn some intimate details about this woman who was the first female on prime time news, and be treated to "Barbara" singing a parody of "My Way." Dramatist-storyteller Jenny Riddle will present a unique, "off camera" view of this incredible woman.

If you'd like to meet an incredible man, sign up for "John B. Stetson -- Cowboy Hat Entrepreneur" from 7:30-9 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 28, in the Rasmussen South Room. Stetson's story is one of perseverance and excellence. Starting as an apprentice to his father, he opened his own business in Philadelphia, only to leave it because of tuberculosis. Stetson then traveled to St. Joseph, Mo., rising to partner in the brickmaking business, which was then washed downstream by a great flood. Walking with 11 others across the Great Plains to pan for gold, Stetson was cured of his tuberculosis. It was during this sojourn that he invented the cowboy hat. Come learn about his business philosophies and how his innovative ideas changed the American hat-making industry. Living History Portrayer R.J. Lindsey will combine acting with a PowerPoint presentation to take the audience on a journey that culminated with the creation of an iconic American symbol.

These are just a couple of the exciting programs coming to the library. For a complete listing, please check out the Program Guide at, or pick one up in the library. Program Guides are mailed every two months to homes within the library district.