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Spartan Storytelling


  • Author:

    Ryann Scherdt

  • Published:

    October 16, 2019

 

Pamela Frucci and her granddaughter, Emily, wrote a children’s book about her great-great-grandfather, a member of the first M.A.C orchestra in 1920.

Hosted by the MSU Alumni Office, the Kedzie Reunion Luncheon occurs every year to celebrate graduating Spartans from 50 or more years ago. At each reunion, the oldest male and female alumni in attendance are presented with the Kedzie Cane, named after former MSU president Dr. Frank S, Kedzie. Jack Frucci, who attended the event with his wife Pamela, claimed this year's award. The couple are both proud Michigan State graduates who have a long history at MSU.

Jack recieving award

Jack and Pamela with Sparty

Michigan State has played a large role in the family of Pamela Frucci’s for a long time. Both Pamela and her husband went to Michigan State University, her grandmother attended MSU when it was known as Michigan Agricultural College, and her grandfather was part of the first-ever M.A.C. orchestra in 1920. Not many people get to know their great-great-grandfather, but Pamela made sure her granddaughter, Emily, got the chance. The two of them wrote a book together about going back in time to visit Emily’s great-great-grandfather, Sheridan Howard, who lived a very interesting life.

Pamela’s grandfather, Emily's great-great-grandfather, grew up in Mendon, Michigan and relocated to East Lansing, Michigan later in life. At a young age, her grandfather and her great-uncle traveled the United States with a band of their own before settling down in East Lansing. Sheridan was a great musician, so when the first M.A.C. orchestra needed a bass player, he jumped at the offer. Although he was not a student at the college, the orchestra recruited him to play the bass in 1920 because there were no current students at the time who knew how to play the instrument. While playing in the orchestra, he was also an official painter for M.A.C., responsible for painting dorms and signs on campus. He lived in the community and worked for the college, and the generations that proceeded him continued to be a part of the Spartan community. Pamela wanted to document his interesting life to share with her family.

                     Book Cover

 

 

She wanted to write the book with her granddaughter to 'encourage young people to interview their older relatives and write their life story to save for future generations.'

 

At the age of seven, Emily, alongside her grandmother, wrote a book titled “A Visit to My Great, Great Grandpa.” The book follows the stories of her great-great-grandfather, Sheridan Howard, growing up in Michigan with his identical brother. In the book, Emily has an imaginary visit with her great-great-grandfather in 1972. The book was published in 2006, and in 2019, was turned into a musical and performed at the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center in Trenton, Michigan. Pamela says that she wanted to write the book with her granddaughter to “encourage young people to interview their older relatives and write their life story to save for future generations.” Pamela achieved her goal with her granddaughter Emily and now their story will be passed on for generations to come!