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Students from Judy Green’s Coon Holler Music Studio in rural Clinton provided the entertainment Friday night, August 10, at the annual Ernie Pyle Festival held in downtown Dana. The musicians, ranging from preschoolers to adults, were enthusiastially received as they performed two hours of bluegrass music including gospel, folk, and contemporary pieces. You can hear some of their past performances on YouTube by searching “Coon Holler Kids” or google them. Judy Green’s studio provides vocal, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and other bluegrass instrument lessons throughout the year. For more information, contact Green at (765) 832-8110 or visit their website.
The Ernie Pyle Festival is hosted by the Dana Volunteer Firemen and Auxiliary and is their main annual fundraiser. The Dana 49ers, a women’s philanthropic group, also raffles a handmade quilt each year with proceeds dedicated to local needs. Also included is an antique car show, antique tractors, lots of good food, and plenty of activities for the children.
Ernie Pyle Museum
Ernie Pyle World War II Museum, located on Main Street, is housed in the home where Pyle was born in 1900. The rural home was moved in the mid-1970s and was restored by a local citizens’ group. It is a designated Indiana State Historical Site. Pyle, an “embedded journalist”, worked alongside the US troops during WWII, placing himself in danger as they did. His popular columns captured the scene, and his reporting humanized the war for his readers. He was on assignment as a war correspondent when he died on April 18, 1945, after being struck by a Japanese machine gunner’s bullet on Ie Shima, a small island near Okinawa in the South Pacific. He was 44 years old. The museum includes a vast array of Pyle’s writings as well as an extensive collection of WWII memorabilia and equipment.
The Ernie Pyle WWII Museum is open to the public on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from the first of May through the end of October. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 1 pm to 4 pm on Sundays. Tours may also be arranged by contacting Friends of Ernie Pyle President, Cynthia Myers at (765) 665-3084 or via email at email@example.com. Their website is here.