If anyone should ever complain that there aren't enough extracurricular educational opportunities afforded in our corner of the Ozarks, they may not be keeping fully abreast of what is happening.

I would like to again take this opportunity to invite everyone out to a special program on Walt Disney at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Elsie E. Plaster Center Auditorium at Crowder College. The Newton County Historical Society is hosting Disney historian and scholar Dan Viets of the Missouri Humanities Council. Viets will talk about the Missouri influences in Walt Disney's life and work. The event is free, of course, and anyone at least remotely curious about Walt Disney is strongly encouraged to attend.

The program will review the Missouri influences in Walt Disney's life and work. Disney was born in Chicago but his family moved to Marceline, Mo., when he was four years old. Four years later the family moved to Kansas City, where Disney later learned the craft of animation and opened his first professional film studio.

Even if Disney wasn't born in Missouri, he spent most of his childhood and the first part of his adult life here, and at the least I think the Show-Me State had an influence on him. Mr. Viets, who is giving the program, is the co-author of the book, “Walt Disney’s Missouri: The Roots of a Creative Genius,” published by the Kansas City Star. He is also the author of many other articles about Disney’s life and work.

Viets has lectured about Disney’s Missouri influences to Disney Company employees at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida.

We would certainly like to show Mr. Viets that we have an interest here in Newton and McDonald Counties about Missourians, such as Disney, who do well with themselves, so we hope for a good crowd. In fact, that is why we're hosting the event at Crowder, so we have more space.

I hope to see you there at 1 p.m. July 26 at the Elsie Plaster Center at Crowder College!

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On a different note, I always enjoy receiving letters about local history. If you have anything you wish to share, please write to me at 12161 Norway Rd. Neosho, MO 64850

Wes Franklin writes a weekly column for the Daily News.