Travelogues come to a close with 'Sea to Sea in a Model T'

DOWNEY - Join Don and Fran Van Polen as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of Henry Ford's Model T Roadster traveling from the Puget Sound in Washington State to the Eastern most town and lighthouse in America in their film "Sea to Sea in a Model T" presented this Sunday, April 19, in the Downey Theatre at 2:30 p.m. This film concludes the 2008/2009 "Armchair Adventure" Travelogue Series.It was 100 years ago that Henry Ford introduced the first Model T Ford. It was the car that changed America. No other product made in this country would have such a profound effect on the nation's economy as Henry's Old Car! Soon, one out of seven workers in America would be in the auto industry and half of all cars on the road would have the name "Ford" written on them. He would later build the largest factory in the world, the Rouge River Plant outside Detroit. More than 100,000 people would work there in one day. For the next 20 years, Henry Ford would build more than 15 million Model T's. Never were so many cars of one style built than that old car. It was the automobile that put America on wheels. Henry Ford claimed that his Model T would be the last car the country would ever need! We've had at least two generations of traveling in the fast lanes and freeways and it's time to see the country from the slow lane. Slow roads have a sense of discovery; they tell us about the past and take us to places where real America lives. Driving that old car may not be the fastest way or the shortest; it may not be the easiest, but it certainly is the best way. Henry Ford's old car was meant for those old roads. Enjoy the remarkable stories and scenery along the way as Don and Fran Van Polen travel from "Sea to Sea in a Model T" telling the story of Henry Ford's old car. Don and Fran Van Polen grew up in the Dutch community of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many times, they, as well as their parents, would enjoy the "travelogue culture" which thrived so successfully back in the 60's. Don graduated from Calvin College and later attended the University of Arizona taking graduate studies in the field of Criminology. With this background, he later became a junior high math/science teacher and school administrator for 10 years. Don always believed that if you can communicate with a teenager, you can converse with any other age group. One night, in Waupun, Wisconsin, they attended a travelogue by Robert Brower called "Spring Captures Holland" and the Van Polens were smitten. Bob Brower's system of large format slides shown on multiple screens was impressive to say the least. The Van Polens, using this technique, moved to the West Coast where they carried on the same tradition for many years. Their travels have taken them from the steaming jungles of New Guinea to the ancient streets of Jerusalem, and the slums of Calcutta, not to mention the grandeur of America. A highlight of those years was when one of their productions, "Autumn Across America" was selected as the feature program at the World Convention of the Photographic Society of America in Seattle where they received a standing ovation. Their presentations have been shown in some of the largest venues in North America and featured at photographic conventions along with the Kodak Cavalcade. In the year 2000 they decided it was time for change and they switched to the Digital Wide-screen Video Format. Some of their other digital productions are "Into the Unknown", the story of Lewis and Clark; "A Taste of Old Holland", a pilgrimage to the land of their ancestors and "Hawaii on the Widescreen". "Sea to Sea in a Model T" is the 10th and final travelogue of the 2008/2009 season and the final film of the "Armchair Adventure Series." The Downey Theatre staff expresses their gratitude to the subscribers of the series for their wonderful support and patronage for these past 30 years. The film is on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the Downey Theatre located at 8435 Firestone Blvd. Tickets for the last film may be purchased on day of performance only beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the theatre box office. Adult tickets are $7 and senior/student tickets are $6 (cash or check only). For more information, please call the theatre box office at (562) 861-8211, Monday through Friday, between noon and 4 p.m.

********** Published: April 17, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 52