Megan Wells and Her Firey Stories
    by John Cech

That's Amy Lowe singing and Megan Wells as Mrs. O'Leary, deconstructing the legend of the great Chicago fire of 1871. It's from a CD called "Fire in Boomtown," featuring these two award-winning story-tellers, who take us on a journey back in history to understand how such a horrible event could have occurred. And what we learn through their brilliant mixture of songs, the historical record of old Chicago, and eye-witness testimonies is that it all came about through a fateful and fatal series of events and circumstances: a nearly all-wooden city, a drought, a mysterious spark, and a strong wind that drove the flames. It's a compelling, tragic, and heroic story of loss and renewal that captures Chicago's famous, resillient, creative "city-of-the-big-shoulders" essence. Every place doesn't have a story quite as big as Chicago's, but every place should have bards as talented as Ms. Wells and Ms. Lowe to tell its story.

Copyright 2002 John Cech

Fire in Boomtown

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October 2002
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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."