Appetite for Fred Harvey

On Sunday my daughter, Erica Jett, and I went to the opening festivities of the New Mexico History Museum's new permanent exhibit, Setting the Standard:  The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy. There was a huge crowd, including former Harvey Girls and members of the Harvey family. New Mexicans and others have been getting hungry for the Fred Harvey story, fanned by the flames of Stephen Fried's excellent book, Appetite for America:  Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West - One Meal at a Time.

The New Mexico History Museum staff must have felt very gratified by the immense interest and excellent attendance yesterday. Four showings during the day of Katrina Parks' documentary The Harvey Girls:  Opportunity Bound appeared to all have been packed in the auditorium with overflow space in the lobby also being utilized. The 57-minute film was wonderfully done and included numerous delightful interviews with former Harvey Girls. 

The 2:00 pm talks were also more than well attended. Hooray for the overflow space in the lobby, as the auditorium again was filled to capacity. Exhibit curator Meredith Davidson and documentary producer Katrina Parks each offered remarks. Author Stephen Fried packed a lot of information with liberal doses of humor into his talk accompanied by power point. All three spoke of the assistance of and contributions by Harvey descendants.

The exhibit itself - Setting the Standard - was nicely done with many items donated by members of the Harvey family.

In the gift shop, business was brisk and Stephen Fried kept busy signing copies of his book. Harvey Girl mugs, Fred Head t-shirts, and copies of Appetite for America were selling like hotcakes.

When our brains were in danger of Harvey detail overload and museum closing time was approaching, Erica and I took our leave and stopped in a couple nearby stores. We ended the enjoyable afternoon with dinner at the Cowgirl to satisfy our other appetite.


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