So there really is not an award for this. But, NGS knocked it out of the ballpark this year with J Mark Lowe! Mark is a very entertaining man in any conversation, but to see him ‘on’ is completely different. The opening session lecture was titled The Tales of Pioneer Paths: Rivers, Roads, & Rails. In the lecture, Mark spoke in the voice of Charlie Floyd. Charlie Floyd was born in 1804, the year that Charles Floyd (the only person who died on the Lewis and Clark Expedition) died.
‘Charlie’ opened with a small song, talked about the beautiful sunrise, and then went into the stories of dealing with cholera, and the antics of his young daughter Mary Ida.
After concluding his stories about the hardships of frontier life, the auditorium was asked to join in and sing This Land is You Land by Woodie Guthrie. Truly amazing to see everyone join in. I don’t think anyone else could have pulled this off.
To end the opening session, a special guest was introduced to the crowd. Lewis, a bald eagle, from the St. Louis World Bird Sanctuary. Unfortunately, I missed Lewis because I needed to get to the vendor hall to be prepared for the morning rush.