|Montell and Kathryn Seely display the newly printed pageant history book.|
A two year project has reached its end with the completion of the 25 year history of the Castle Valley Pageant. Montell and Kathryn Seely have eagerly awaited the final result and are now happy to have the book in hand. They said, "The 25th anniversary of the pageant was approaching and there had been a lot of history involved with the organization and the continued production of the pageant year after year; so we decided to record this history. If it is not recorded then no one will know the history or it will be forgotten.
"The project has taken two years. We knew what we were in for, because we have been involved with the production of a county history book and knew it wasn't an easy undertaking, but we sailed right into it. We sent letters to everyone that had been involved in the pageant over the years and we invited them to write their own personal history of their involvement in the pageant and include photos if possible. About 100 people responded to the request for personal stories and we have included them in the book.
"Carolyn Jorgensen also had some photographs taken by the Emery County Progress, which are included in the book. The cover photo for the book was taken by Phil Fauver who writes for the Progress sometimes. We wrote a chapter of the book for every year of the pageant," said the Seelys.
Kathryn said, "Montell keeps an extensive personal journal and most of the chapters were written with the aid of this journal. He records everything and his journal was a big source of material. The book also includes financial records for the pageant, newspaper articles, old programs and postcards as well as a copy of the brochure now used to promote the pageant. A unique feature of the book is a copy of the bumper sticker used to advertise the pageant from the first year."
The Castle Valley Pageant is included in the eight pageants that are sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The local pageant was added to the official pageant list on May 17, 1990.
Kathryn said, "We wanted the books by Christmas so we could begin shipping out the preorders that needed to be mailed. We also gave out all of the preordered books for locals at the Castle Dale library. One of the things that makes the new book so nice is that many of the pictures are full color photos."
Montell said, "There was a delay with the binding of the book and so I went up there one day and said I'd just stay there and wait for them to be finished. I brought them home that day. It was a great day when they were finished. Our daughter LeAnne Seely is listed as the editor for the book and she was instrumental in the project. Anyone can still get a book and can call us at 381-2195. The 2004 production of the Castle Valley Pageant will be the 27th pageant. This has been a labor of love for us. We are always looking for anyone who wants to become a part of the pageant. They can call Bruce Anderson at 381-2362 to find out how to become involved. He is the current pageant president.
"The pageant was started to preserve the history of the people in our county and to teach this history to the young people. This pageant book was written to not only promote the pageant but to propogate its message. The people are the most important thing and we wanted to tell the story of not only the settlers, but the modern people who reenact the lives of the earlier settlers to the Castle Valley. These people all have their own story and we wanted to record that.
"We hope this pageant will also inspire people to write down and tell their own stories. We have had a lot of people contact us about starting their own pageants, we also wish to be a role model for these people and help them with pageants of their own. It is our hope that this pageant and its rich history will in some way help to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. As the story of our ancestors is told let's not forget to add our own histories, so we will not be forgotten," said Montell.