Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Friends, food, crafts and music

Members of the barbershop quartet Boys Night Out perform on the patio during the Lucas County Historical Society's June 18 arts and crafts fair.

A combination of enthusiastic artisans, good music, good food and cooperative weather turned the Lucas County Historical Society's arts and crafts fair into an enjoyable event for all on Friday evening, June 18. The imaginary gates to the museum campus opened at 6 p.m. and a substantial and steady crowd moved through the attractions until 7:30.

Organizers were especially pleased with the nature of the crowd, which included an equal mix of people of all ages, from oldest to youngest --- the type of crowd museums sometimes have difficulty attracting. Entire families joined us for the evening and it was great to see roaming bands of youngsters enjoying hot dogs and chips --- and the displays --- in a safe and welcoming environment.

While a foreboding weather forecast may have discouraged some from coming, no one was disappointed at the turnout --- or the weather for that matter.

Dan Christensen's models of vintage steam-powered equipment, located at the base of the Lewis Building steps, proved especially popular with kids of all ages. Christensen (left), an Iowa State Patrol officer,  exchanged his uniform hat for an engineer's cap for the evening. Unfortunately, because of the time needed to cool down steam-powered equipment, disassemble the display and load it up, he was the only exhibitor or guest to get wet Friday evening.

Just a few minutes after the last guest had departed and all of the exhibitors except Dan had driven away, the skies opened and a dramatic display of lightning and thunder crashed around the museum hilltop.

The live music was especially popular during the fair. Adam Barr on trumpet backed by Nancy Courter on keyboard and Steve Scott on drums opened and closed the musical program and the Chariton barbershop quartet Boys Night Out provided the centerpiece.

Betty Cross, Mary Lou Pierschbacher and Marilyn Johnson (from left behind the table) and others assured that there were plenty of hot dogs and potato chips for all and Ilene Church prepared and served lemonade.

A rope-making display manned by Mark Richardson and Chariton Boy Scouts proved especially popular with youngsters --- of all ages.

Inside the Lewis Building, Loren Burkhalter --- one of Chariton's top photographers --- displayed examples of his work and discussed technique, camera and processing equipment with visitors.

Also in the Lewis Building, Jane Kendrick was gratified to discover that men, women and children alike were fascinated by her art, which involves collecting seeds then arranging them in intricate patterns to display and, in some cases, to wear as jewelry.

Quilting always is a popular art and Betty Pepping was on hand to talk about the skills involved. The Binghams, Clint and Ursula, moved their wood-carving display from lawn to Lewis Building when showers threatened and by doing that managed to avoid cameras entirely.

Downstairs in the Mine Gallery, Bill Marner (shown here), Norlin Nielsen and others were operating the vintage peanut roaster and offering free samples to all. One guest was heard to say that she had had to come all the way from Ohio to enjoy peanuts like those produced June 18 at the museum.

Meg Prange (left) and Norma LaRue, displaying respectively their fabric art and stained glass works, drew a steady line of visitors to their location in front of Otterbein Church.

Inside the Stephens House, Lucille Stone (above) explained the intricacies of tatting to Ilene Church and many others in the back parlor while Jackie Andrews (below) demonstraited the art of making braided rugs.

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