Ben Franklin is paying a visit to Oak Harbor. Smith doesn’t just play Ben Franklin, he is Ben Franklin. It’s as if the Renaissance Man were transported to 2015. He’ll answer questions on contemporary topics and those of his time — and not just about gardening.
He’s played Ben Franklin for going on 15 years. It’s more than mastering Franklin’s mannerisms and speech. Smith is a serious student of the founding father.
Yes, technically, he’d be rather elderly today at 310 years old. But his humor, wit and wisdom is carried on by a modern man who appreciates Franklin’s legacy.
The Oak Harbor Garden Club is hosting a performance of an actor playing the part of Ben Franklin called “Taking Root — Founding Gardeners and Their Gardens.” Everyone is invited to attend the free performance scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 12 at the First Methodist Church, 1050 S.E. Ireland St.
The actor is Greg Robin Smith, a man who carries on the tradition of “Chautauqua,” an educational tradition started in 1878 in New York that uses performers, dressed in character, to bring personalities and history to life.
Smith, who lives in Everett, earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Eastern Washington University. He’s worked as a history scholar, author, actor and teacher. He helped start The Interactive History Company, which brings this style of performance to schools and other public and private venues. He recently traveled to the George H.W. Bush Presidential library.
Playing Franklin isn’t Smith’s day job. He works at the University of Washington.
OHGC member (above), Carolyn Bischoff, teaching us how to make Hypertufa and glass flower plates.
Holiday Season kicks off BIG! Continuing a tradition that dates back as far as she can remember, OHGC President, Gloria Morse, has opened her garage to familiar faces, smells and bustling activity. The 1st week of Dec is when the OHGC get busy making wreaths which turns proceeds from this annual fundraiser into projects that help beautify the city's grounds. Pictured is Helene Valdez.