Big Timber, Part One
Our town–Big Timber, MT—was known in its infant days as “Cobblestone City.” Since Big Timber (Cobblestone City) is on the route once traveled by Lewis and Clark in days of yore, and since a lot of money and effort went into marking and marketing the Lewis and Clark trail, I feel it is a duty to bring to the public at large just who the Corps of Discovery explorers really were. (Soon to be a television sit-com.)
Back in 1864 two daring Norwegians–Olaf Lewisborg and Svend Clarkdahl–tramped into the wilderness, faced dangerous wild animals, bad weather, hostile Indians and various other vicissitudes. (Stage directions included).
Part one: Visualize a stage decorated as if wilderness is pressing all around. Characters: Olaf Lewisborg, Svend Clarkdahl, Lena-Jawea and Uffda, Olaf Lewisborg’s pet ass. A Narrator tells the story.
Trees, river, bushes, mountains painted on background or merely a few sage bushes placed around.
Down stage are either two kids’ wagons or those car repair trolleys or some kind of platform on wheels.
When he bought the Louisiana purchase
President Jefferson declared his purpose
Was to find a passage to our western shore
So he picked some Norskis to go explore
PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON
(Enters) (Dressed in Presidential suit/tie).
Swagger on stage. Look out at audience with haughty expression.
Olaf Lewisborg volunteered
A tall Norwegian, he persevered
(Enter)(Dressed in coon-skin cap, fringe outfit, knife in belt. Carry musket and tall walking stick). Trudge onstage; look out at audience, no expression.
Next to join: Svend Clarkdahl,
Olaf and Svend answered the call
(Entering): Dressed similar to LEWISBORG. Stand next to Olaf.
Add a Norski princess with lots of allure
Lena-Jawea; her heart was pure
(Entering): Norwegian Princess garb–Viking helmet, yellow braids. Line up with guys.
Lewisborg’s pet, Uffda, the Ass
Followed Lewisborg but often passed gas
(Entering) (pet burro (stuffed): OLAF LEWISBORG has come on holding a lead rope that goes off stage. When Narrator does UFFDA verse, OLAF drags UFFDA to his side on stage. UFFDA brays.
OPENING SONG: (ALL CAST) (Line up)
Tune: You Are My Sunshine
We are the actors, the finest actors
We’ll make you happy in every way
Cobblestone players will never fail you As we say the lines of our play
At end of song, LENA-JAWEA exits. OLAF & SVEND turn parallel to audience, march in a circle, end up facing Jefferson. They salute.
Jefferson stands looking profound. CLARKDAHL & LEWISBORG & UFFDA stand before him. (UFFDA attached to LEWISBORG’S belt with a lead rope
Go forth intrepid explorers. I commission ye to find a Trade Route to the Pacific Ocean. And while you’re at it, name some stuff.
Vat stuff vould that be…
Oh, the usual: Rivers, mountains and any pillars you come across. A few plants and animals.
Ya, sure. Ve kin do dat.
Good luck and report back to me … if you survive.
SVEND CLARKDAHL & OLAF LEWISBORG
Ya, shurrre, yew betcha. (both salute).
Brays (offstage person “brays”)
Watch this space for part two of this exciting story. ❖