18 May 2013

In Which Things Do Work Out . . If You Let Them

In 2008 I wrote a post about my maternal grandmother - Mary Ellen Harris Skillman - who in her much younger days, had been employed as a "Harvey Girl."  The post contained a couple of photos of my grandmother in her uniform.

In 2011, a representative from a very large publisher came across my blog and photos and basically wanted me to give them my grandmother.  After consulting with a dear friend and attorney - Craig Manson - I made them an offer which they ignored.  Craig wrote a couple of brilliant posts over at GeneaBlogie  - "Grandma For Sale: A Cautionary Tale" and "How To Sell Your Grandmother Guilt-Free."  I urge you to click on over and read both posts.

Then in February of this year, Dee Harris from the National Archives in Kansas City contacted me and asked if I wanted to make my grandmother a Star.  She wanted permission to use my photos and blow them up to life-size cutouts for use in an upcoming exhibit.

I immediately gave my consent.  I know with certainty that my grandmother would have been thrilled at the prospect.

I am proud to announce that the exhibit opened at NARA Kansas City in the Concourse Gallery on May 7th and continues through  January 2014.  

The Kansas City NARA is located at 400 West Pershing Road and the exhibit is open Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.
To schedule a group tour call 816-268-8013 or email mickey.ebert@nara.gov.


  1. How exciting! I'm glad things worked out for you and your celebrity grandma. I bet she would have loved this. Great job!

  2. Much better than the other offer! Thanks as always for sending love the way of my moribund blog.

  3. Wow, a Harvey girl! I've often walked through Union Station and thought about the Harvey girls. What a great family story and now it's part of an exhibit. I'll have to check the exhibit out when I'm in town. Thanks for the suggestion and congrats!

  4. I remember your post from 2008! That is super cool! Wish I'd been able to see the exhibit while I drove through Kansas City on May 12th. That's one more reason to make a return trip to Topeka! Congratulations. :-)