The Smithsonian is coming and it’s going to need our help

Want to be inspired to do your best? Hear stories about sports figures, teams and the people who support them.

I just listened to Doug Rieder at the fair last week talk about Doreen Wilber, Bryce Paup, Speedy Wilson and talented teams from around Greene County through the years.  


Rick Morain played the school songs from every Greene County town, with quite a few renditions from Churdan.

We will have a chance to experience this at a national and local level with the Smithsonian Institute’s “Hometown Teams” traveling exhibit. It will be located at the Greene County Historical Museum in mid-August through September of 2018.

Yes, it is a year off. But with this opportunity comes a chance to take our time and enjoy the planning stages to make it a great experience for all.  

Some of you may have seen a real Smithsonian exhibit.  There are many who may never get the chance — but they will now.

This exhibit is interactive and educational for adults and kids alike. Only six Main Street communities in Iowa will host it in 2018, and an estimated 6,000 to 9,000 people will visit Jefferson during that time.  

How great for school kids in Greene County to work with the teachers in the school system on interesting lesson plans provided by the Smithsonian.

Twenty large crates of artifacts and displays are part of the traveling show. This may take a small army to unload and set up, but it will be cool.  

Interested in helping with that?

Our museum will be perfect to house the 850-square-foot display and more room for other items, too.

Leading up to the August unveiling is an exciting aspect of this exhibit. Promoting our own local hometown teams and their impact on the communities through the years will be important to include.

Greene County is full of inspirational stories about sports, so dust off the trophies, look through pictures and remember those details.

Just reading last week’s Jefferson Herald is a perfect example. The Greene County baseball team is making its way in the postseason play. Kevin Richards’ sports drawings have been viewed by students, parents and professionals in every sport.  

Greene County teams from every burg and every sport have brought people together.  The wins and losses have been matched with the sportsmanship and leadership lessons learned in participating.  

Pep bands and marching bands, cheerleaders and dance teams have been integral in providing the spirit needed to motivate the team to victory — right, Mrs. O?  

The uniforms and rules have changed through the years, and we could have fun taking a look back. How about a style show?  

Inviting speakers to share their stories and memorabilia will be interesting.

Anyone have Bryce Paup’s contact info?

Tower of Fame winner Jack Lashier plans to be involved.  

I’ll bet you know a dozen people who would be great presenters during this time.

Not just school teams, but 4-H teams from every township have made history. I remember thinking our sons were the happiest they had ever been as fourth graders playing basketball with the Greenbrier 4-H Club at the Cooper gym.  

Bowling teams, extreme sports, race car driving and dance teams should be involved in this event along with others.

Books and movies have brought tears to our eyes with inspirational lessons. I showed “Brian’s Song” to my eighth grade lit class after reading the book and never finished without tears. “Rudy,” “Hoosiers,” “Field of Dreams”  — Americana at its best.

How do photographers capture the spirit in their photographs? Every graduate involved in sports has a picture board of the teams they belonged to through Little League, gymnastics, wrestling — on and on.

Sports memorabilia and toys are treasures from the past — let’s bring them out with the trophies and pictures to share.

This is a start of ideas leading up to this exhibit in 2018.  

It will be a fun chance to bring the county together with this exhibit. We invite each community in Greene County to celebrate their sports heritage with displays and invite all interested to be involved.  

An informational meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the Historical Museum. We’ll show a video of the Smithsonian exhibit, pictures from other places who have hosted this exhibit and then brainstorm for our own community.  

If you can’t attend but want to be involved, please contact me, Roger Aegerter, Deb McGinn or Dianne Piepel.

There will be plenty to do, and we promise it will be fun and rewarding.

Peg Raney is program director of Jefferson Matters: Main Street. Contact her at or 515-386-3585.

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161