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Take a Virtual Visit to Warm New Mexico this Friday

Roy R. Behrens, an emeritus professor and distinguished scholar of University of Norther Iowa, is scheduled to present his vibrant family history with the Navajo people in New Mexico on Friday, Jan. 31 at the North Liberty Community Center, 520 W. Cherry St., beginning at 12 p.m. This event – taking us to warmer weather in an effort to Beat the Bitter – is free and open to the public.

Attendees will hear the story of AJ and Franc (Frances) Newcomb, a married couple from the Midwest who operated trading posts in remote, isolated regions of northwestern New Mexico in the early 1900s. The first Navajo man to befriend Roy’s family was Hosteen Klah, an influential chanter, medicine man, and weaver. Franc went on to write books about customs she was entrusted to view and her resulting art pieces, replications preserving Klah’s ceremonial sand paintings.

“If all this sounds too heady, fear not,” Behrens says. “My talks are flashy slide presentations, quick-paced, and always laced with humor. I don’t lecture—I tell stories.”

Prior to the presentation, there is an optional $5 lunch catered Mirabito’s Italian starting at 11:30 a.m. for $5.00 per person. The regular weekly dinner is called Senior Connections Lunch; however, this Friday, persons of any age are welcome to join in the meal. Registration is available via RecDesk or by calling the Recreation Department at (319) 626-5716.

Behrens’ presentation in North Liberty is made possible thanks to the support of Humanities Iowa, whose mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of the people, communities, culture, and stories of importance to Iowa and the nation. It is an affiliate event of North Liberty’s Beat the Bitter winter festival, visit for details on this and other related events.  Information on older adult programming can be found by following the North Liberty Iowa Area Seniors Facebook page.

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