The Jimmy Stewart Museum. Located on the third floor of the Indiana Public Library, next door to the County Court House, and across Philadelphia Street from where Jimmy's father owned and ran the town's hardware store, The Jimmy Stewart Museum (JSM) opened in the spring of 1995 on Jimmy's birthday. The namesake did not attend the festivities as he was still devastated by the death of his beloved wife Gloria a couple of years earlier. He did send his twin daughters who thanked the Indiana townsfolk for their generosity and honor. The whole town showed up for the parade and gathered in front of the Museum to hear brief comments from the daughters.
I became a Charter Member of the JSM that day and even volunteered most of that summer, working in the gift shop, selling tickets and giving tours of the Museum. I was already a big fan of Mr. Stewart's work, but learned much more about him that summer. My admiration grew. For Christmas that year, my homemade card was a drawing of Zuzu's petals.
So I was shocked to learn today in a story on MSNBC that the Jimmy Stewart Museum was in trouble financially. There was never any big endowment and the Museum has apparently survived these past 15 years on memberships, attendance fees and gift shop proceeds. Read the story for the details.
Like the final scene in the movie that everyone associates with Jimmy Stewart, It's A Wonderful Life, I am hoping that Jimmy/George Bailey's friends come through again and rescue the "Old Savings and Loan."
If you have a couple of bucks left in your pocket, perhaps you could send it down to Indiana, PA. I can assure you it is a good cause.
Oh me? I just sent them a check to renew my membership.
Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.
Update: NBC's Nightly News Saturday did a great little piece on The JSM. Here's the link: