Old-fashioned summer fun at a schoolhouse in Virginia City
August 7, 2005
VIRGINIA CITY – While touring the West, the Strong family’s summer vacation included a stop Sunday afternoon in Virginia City for old-fashioned games at the historic Fourth Ward School.
This is a trip that will go down in 9-year-old William Strong’s vacation journal, a composition book he started on July 15. Inside the book is a manila envelope filled with pamphlets and postcards he collected from all the sites his family has visited so far.
He flipped through the pile and described each one, from the California missions to picturesque views of British Columbia.
“British Columbia was my favorite because it’s out of the country, and this was my first time out of the country,” William said.
A new addition to that envelope will be a Polaroid picture of William in costume, a baggy red shirt and a white cap, playing with a “Limber Jack” wooden puppet. His grandmother, Lenore Strong, would like William to become interested in history.
“That’s why we wanted to bring him here, to get him into history and genealogy,” she said. “His fourth cousin, Nelly Laird, once taught here.”
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William’s younger brother and sister found something to do at a crafts table staffed by volunteer Summer Kay, a third-grade teacher in Fernley. She helped the Strong children assemble white trash bag kites onto wood dowels then attach the kites to a long roll of yarn.
The crafts may be old-fashion, but the kids aren’t.
“I’m making a Spider-Man. I don’t know why, I just came up with a Spider-Man,” said 7-year-old Stefan Strong while he scribbled with black and blue markers on his kite. “Then I’m going to test it out with Dad.”
That would be Richard Strong of Sylmar, Calif., who is taking his children on the two-week vacation. He stood behind 4-year-old Jessie Strong and tried to help her keep the markers on the kite.
Kyle and Kody Wood of Virginia City also found their way to the kite table.
“Will this actually fly?” 12-year-old Kody asked the volunteer.
“If you actually get wind, they will fly,” Kay said.
Barbara Mackey, executive director of the Fourth Ward museum, said this is the first time for the games, and hopefully, it’ll gain popularity.
“We’re testing the waters to see what kind of response we get,” she said.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.