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Living museum

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Written by Vivian McInerny   
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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Marybel the Doll That Gets Well, circa 1960, came with casts and chickenpox.

Photograph by Eric Näslund

After visiting a nursing exhibition in Philadelphia and the Florence Nightingale museum in London, Chenevert realized the rarity of her personal collection and found the determination to establish the museum. 

“Do you squirrel it away in some archival safe for future generations to look at? Or do you vote to take it out and look at it now?” she asks. “I vote for now.” 

The Cheneverts live comfortably amid the kooky collection, even when their five young grandchildren visit from Portland and New York. Most of the memorabilia is on the main floor. The master bedroom, TV room, and home office are upstairs. If a tour group comes through, “Gary can escape out the back and go for a walk on the beach,” Chenevert says. The museum’s visitors tend to be school groups, nursing students and established nurses looking to “get their batteries recharged.” Other than special window blinds that filter UV light to protect archival items, the house has all the comforts of home. 

People often ask her what will happen if a tsunami comes.“Well, it’s just stuff,” she says. But the stuff of Chenevert’s home just happens to be museum worthy.

The Lost Art of Nursing Museum is located at 3285 S. Hemlock St. in Cannon Beach. The grand opening is May 6-12, and it will be open on Saturdays during the summer and by appointment. There is no admission fee.



0 #1 Melodie's friend and RealtorCarol Johansen 2012-01-24 01:52
Melodie is a wonderful person and friend and I've known her for years. I encourage everyone to stop by her museum/home when she's there and take a tour, you won't be disappointed. She's also a great hostess. I had the pleasure of selling this home to her several years ago.
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+1 #2 Adjunct Professor, Azusa Pacific UniversityBonnie Blum 2012-02-13 22:53
Melodie is my sister-in-law and I can personally vouch for her commitment to the profession of nursing. Her personal skill as a worldwide keynote speaker makes her memorable to all who are privileged to hear her message. She is a very special person and this is enhanced by her artistic and writing ability. Her museum is a "much see" for nurses and anyone that is interested in the medical field and its history. I live in CA so I have not seen the finished product, but when I saw the work in progress I was very impressed. Be sure to stop by you will not be disappointed.
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0 #3 Clinical Adjunct Nursing Instructor, Linfield-Good Samaritan School of NursingPamela DeBoni 2012-02-16 15:35
My goodness! I hired Melody several times to do Nursing workshops in Portland! Her books and presentations were very funny but had spot on nursing insights. Welcome to the "left" coast Melody!
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0 #4 Melodious MelodyVivian McInerny 2012-02-21 14:56
I can only imagine how lively Melodie's seminars must be.
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0 #5 Meldoie's Friend & RealtorVivian McInerny 2012-02-21 14:58
I agree with you. Melodie and her collections are something special. You don't have to be in the nursing profession to appreciate them.
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0 #6 RE: Living museumLenore Emery 2013-01-07 11:48
After hearing about her seminars and workshops, I would consider becoming a nurse just to attend and hear her speak! We are neighbors now in Cannon Beach and welcome her passion turned into museaum. We meet many nurses in our dinner shows and make sure they know about the museaum. (a must see in CB)
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0 #7 Nursing an ideaVivian McInerny 2013-01-12 11:51
I understand what you mean about nursing. Melodie is a dynamic and warm person. What a great advocate for nursing.
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0 #8 The impact of Melodie ChenevertCarmelle Savoie 2014-09-30 09:58
I was chosen to assist Melodie Chenevert's conference 25 years ago or so. It changed my life, it changed the course of my career. I always wished I would be able to tell her the influence she had on me with that one instance. It made me a better person, a better nurse. I am forever grateful, I hope these words reach her.
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