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Attention was focused on Ava Monday.
Ava Costello came all the way from Massachusetts to visit Ava, Missouri, after she located our town on the Internet and made contact with April Suter at Ava City Hall.
Nine-year-old Ava was accompanied by her grandmother, Lindsay Morand, the great-niece of E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web and other well-known books.
Lindsay and Ava roamed the area during the weekend, visiting the horse and cattle farm of Sonny Nelson, and on Monday visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum at Mansfield. Monday evening, Lindsay and Ava presented a program for the public at the Douglas County Public Library where Lindsay shared memorabilia and gave details about the life of E.B. White, brother of her grandfather.
Lindsay said she was especially grateful for the opportunity to visit the Wilder Museum because she and her family are planning a similar museum for their famous ancestor.
She said an old barn on the White property, where both she and her granddaughter’s family now live, was recently torn down, but wood was salvaged from the barn to be used in the construction of the planned museum.
Included on the poster display shown at the library Monday evening was an Ava, Missouri postcard featuring Ava Drug’s 60th anniversary. Morand found this especially intriguing because this is the 60th anniversary of the publication of Charlotte’s Web.
Ms. Morand and Ava personally autographed copies of Charlotte’s Web that were brought to the library program Monday evening by readers, and also presented a 60th anniversary edition of the book to librarian Anita Dodd for the library.
Charlotte’s Web, published in 1952, may be White’s most popular book, but it was not his first. Stuart Little was published in 1945.
Although there were other works published, the third of his more popular works, The Trumpet of the Swan, was published in 1970.
Also, in 1959, White edited and updated “The Element of Style”, a grammatical handbook for writers originally published in 1918 by William Strunk, White’s professor at Cornell University.
As the program at the library ended Monday evening, Morand played a CD of E.B. White reading Charlotte’s Web.
Elwyn Brooks White died in 1985 at the age of 86.