Story and photos by ALICIA LEONARD
On Saturday, April 9, residents and visitors to Paxton may have thought they had stepped back in time. The Old Timer’s Day proved to be a hit with young and old alike. Craftsmen demonstrated blacksmithing, making wooden buckets, pine needle baskets, quilting, sewing, Indian bow-making and much, much more to the crowds that meandered through the Paxton Agriculture Center. Some even came by horseback to enjoy the way things used to be and wagon rides ferried visitors around the area.
Pam Thompson demonstrated how to weave rugs with a flying shuttle loom. Thompson first became interested in the weaving process after a trip to an Amish community in Kentucky. Shelia Moors sat beside her with a spindle loom weaving items out of sheep’s wool. Both ladies drew quite the crowd to watch them make rugs and other items, the old fashioned way.
Across the way, Tom Norton and Niki Pierce worked with flames and metal to display old fashioned blacksmithing to the crowds that milled past.
Girl Scout Troop 9210 participated in some log rolling techniques used in days past. The young ladies put their all into getting their logs lined up and working together to move them, as had young people in the times before tractors.
The Muscogee Nation of Florida brought their wares and their history as representatives of the Florida tribe of eastern Creek Indians from Bruce, Fla., met with the public.
Nell Davis and Estell Norman showed off their quilting skill and chatted with attendees. Granny Alyne Adams sat next to them and showed off her sewing skills with some beautiful old fashioned bonnets for sale. Lots of visiting and discussing needle skills took place between the three and visitors to their displays. Next door, old hands took part in cow whip popping that would have made Indiana Jones proud.
Michael Barlow and Darrel Bushie showed off their skills making baskets and woodworking. Bushie said he had only been at it for the last five months but was drawn to the art out of the need to “keeping the skill alive, so it’s not lost for generations of the future.”
All in all, the crowds seemed to enjoy the demonstrations and some even showed interest in learning a few of the skills for themselves.
The Tri-Cities Kiwanis put the event together and were commended for bring the community back in time with the event.