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What’s flat but funny, well-traveled, well-read, well-known …

I recently learned about a guy who really gets around. Last month, his day was made when he appeared at the Academy Awards with Clint Eastwood. He’s shown up with George Jones prior to one of the Opossums’ concerts, and he’s been on the road again with Willie Nelson.
This quiet guy has visited Mount Rushmore, Times Square, the Pentagon, the Alamo, Alcatraz, Chicago, Vegas and Mardi Gras. Overseas travels include stops in Afghanistan, Jerusalem, Israel and Cuba. At the White House, he’s met former Presidents Bush and Clinton.
He’s also appeared on episodes of ‘ER,’ ‘The West Wing,’ ‘Who Wants to be A Millionaire?’ and ‘Rosie O’Donnell.’
Maybe you read about him in one of the late Jeff Brown’s books. The original, ‘Flat Stanley,’ written in 1964, then sequels ‘Stanley and the Magic Lamp,’ ‘Stanley in Space,’ ‘Stanley’s Christmas Adventure,’ ‘Invisible Stanley’ and the last, in 2003, ‘Stanley, Flat Again!’
The character and his adventures were inspired by a bedtime conversation Brown had with his two sons when they were young about a boy who was squashed by a bulletin board that had fallen on him.
About 30 years later, the Flat Stanley Project was created by Dale Hubert of London, Ontario, Canada. Schoolchildren are among those who most commonly use the project.
In a classroom environment, students make a paper or light cardboard of Flat Stanley and mail him, along with a journal, to someone who is asked to take care of Stanley for a short time. They are also asked to write in the journal things they talked about with Stanley, where they went, what they did, as well as special customs or interesting information about the area where Stanley is visiting.
Not only do the students practice writing skills, the project provides a great opportunity in the geography department.
It was through a Jeffersonville school project that Flat Stanley made a visit in February to Corydon. Beverly Pieratt’s grandson, Brandon, sent him to visit.
‘Not everyone knows that Corydon, Ind., is rich in history,’ Pieratt wrote to her grandson, ‘We have enjoyed seeing these sites with Stanley. He had a wonderful time here.’
They visited Corydon and the First State Capitol, the Constitution Elm and the Battle of Corydon Park, just to name a few.
Unfortunately, Flat Stanley’s sightseeing came to an abrupt halt when the visitor became ill. A trip to Harrison County Hospital, where Pieratt works as an operating room scrub nurse, and a check by the doctor determined Flat Stanley had appendicitis. His appendix was removed and he returned to Pieratt’s Corydon home for a brief recovery spell before heading back to Jeffersonville.
Pieratt said the two-week visit went by quickly and she wished she could have shown Flat Stanley more sights. She enclosed pictures taken of Flat Stanley at the historic sites.
I don’t know if this was Flat Stanley’s first visit to the former state capitol or not, but from the photos I saw, it looked like he enjoyed his trip. He was grinning from ear to ear at each stop.
Anyone wanting more information about the Flat Stanley Project and how you can participate in the exchange program visit www.flatstanleyproject.net.

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