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Members and guests of the Seymour Community Historical Society attending the annual meeting experienced a walk back in time through the performance of Eleanor Roosevelt impersonator Jessica Michna. In period dress, Michna, in a dynamic fifty-minute performance, took the audience on a journey from Roosevelt’s childhood to her appointment by President Truman as a delegate to the United Nations in 1948.

Capturing Eleanor’s mannerisms and voice, Michna impressed many members of the audience who used superlatives to explain her realistic portrayal. She openly wept describing FDR’s longtime affair with his personal secretary Lucy Mercer and sadly recalled the working conditions in the coalmines.

A friend of the poor, Mrs. Roosevelt made a commitment to improve working conditions, eliminate racial bias, and led the fight for gender equality. In many ways she redefined the role of first lady expressing how she advised the President, traveled extensively, and even wrote a regular newspaper column.

Michna, a true professional, captivated the audience through vividly recalling Mrs. Roosevelt’s experiences while visiting American soldiers in the Pacific and European theaters during World War II. A consummate perfectionist, she answered questions adroitly and further enhanced her story by relating several poignant experiences.

Overall, it is a tribute to the Seymour Community Historical Society to make an entertainer of Mrs. Michna’s status available for area residents. James Kenton, visiting from Ames, Iowa remarked, “The society should be commended on their selection of Eleanor Roosevelt. A person often hears about her contributions, but nothing as intimate as this.” June Raether of Seymour commented, “I loved it, she actually sounded like Mrs. Roosevelt.” Marge Coonen recalled seeing Mrs. Michna as Mary Todd Lincoln several years ago at the library. “She was great as Mrs. Lincoln and just excellent as Mrs. Roosevelt. You will have to get her again.” Mark Vachhuber, of Wausaukee, stated, “Unbelievable, she really had her part down.”

It was a fun afternoon for those in attendance. Members of the historical society served homemade pies, cookies, cakes and bars. Starting May 17th “Furs, Feathers, and Fidelity”, a history of military mascots will be on display at the museum. This exhibit is made possible through a loan from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and a financial grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council. By viewing the display, the entire family will learn more about Wisconsin military history, the sacrifices of the soldiers, and the contributions of a variety of military mascots. Wisconsin’s most famous mascot is “Old Abe” the war eagle that led the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment into battle during the Civil War.

During the business part of the meeting, Jon Braun and Bob Bock were named to the Seymour Community Historical Society Board of Directors for three-year terms. They will replace retiring members Ellen Piehl Duffy and Lois Dalke.

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