Tree Street Tuesdays (is it already Wednesday?): Meet "Wally"
Last week, my wanderlust led me to the quaint streets of a historic city both built and abandoned by my ancestors. Nauvoo, Illinois was once a swampy, bug infested land where the Mormons were driven to after being persecuted. They labored to transform the land into a beautiful town that at the time, rivaled Chicago in development. Due to further persecution after the murder of their prophet, Joseph Smith, they were once again forced to abandon their beautiful city and seek refuge in the west.
Now restored, Nauvoo hosts a production through the summer every year called the "Nauvoo Pageant" (not like a beauty pageant, but rather a play). Actors give of their time and talents to reenact the history of my people during that time. Among the cast was my neighbor and fellow Tree Streeter, Paul Walstad, a.k.a "Wally."
During my visit, I was invited to sing a song I recorded several years back called "Emma" (a song about the angst of Joseph's wife) for the cast during a luncheon. I have never been so emotional over that song as I was after seeing Nauvoo and learning more about Emma. Paul gave me the best pep talk of my life right before I sang and really helped me to feel at peace.
Later that night, I sat in a sea of people surounded by fireflies. We watched the pageant, picturesque against a grassy hill and the iluminated temple. Paul played the part of Parley P. Pratt who narrated the whole production. He was so perfectly cast for that character. Thanks for the lovely experience, Paul.