Quite frankly, we were worried about the heat, but shade, a good breeze and plenty of ice cream and ice water proved to be just the ticket on Saturday evening, July 17, when a good crowd turned out for an old-fashioned ice cream social and barn dance on the patio between the barn and Lewis Building.
It had been an extremely hot day, with highs in the 90s and humidity to match, but by 7 p.m. the big pin oak west of the patio was providing plenty of shade and the ice cream was ready.
Ed Sellers of Russell and Dorothy Mason of Chariton coordinated the music and dancing, inviting a group of friends to join them in demonstrating square dance and two-step techniques before heading on to Woodburn, where square dancers gather on Saturday nights down here in the southern hills.
LCHS board members Bob Ulrich (foreground) and Fred Steinbach served up ice cream in flavors ranging from mint chip through strawberry to old-fashioned vanilla from a table in the open door of the barn --- and our guests ate it all, seated for the most part on chairs surrounding the patio.
This was the first outing on the museum campus for new (to us) stackable chairs, 100 of them, that will be stored in the barn and brought out whenever public events are held inside the barn or on the patio. That will simplify our lives at the museum because previously chairs had to be brought down to the patio or barn from the Lewis Building commons room, then hauled back up the hill once an event was done.
This chairs formerly served the Senior Center, which replaced all the tables and chairs in its congregate meal dining area during July. The chairs arrived at the museum on Thursday and were put into use on Saturday.
Although the chairs are broken in, they are built to last and comfortably upholstered so we look forward to getting many more years of use out of them. So thanks to board member Frank Mitchell, who had the inspiration to investigate acquiring the chairs and to all who helped get them to the museum campus and into their designated storage area --- a corn crib in the barn where they will not be evident to visitors when not in use.
All in all it was a great evening and we plan to do both the ice cream social and the dancing again, but learned a couple of lessons. Our dancers got extremely hot, so further dances probably will take place in the fall. And the patio is not the ideal place for fancy footwork, so most likely we'll move inside the barn.
We are extremely grateful to Ed and Dorothy and all the dancers as well as to everyone who turned out to enjoy ice cream and a relaxing stress-free evening.