Friday, September 4, 2009

Gatesburg's Bicentennial

I actually live in Gatesburg though my mail is sent to Warriors Mark, a good 8 miles away. Gatesburg has a population of about 70 and hosts two churches, several farms, and maybe two dozen houses. One of the farms is owned and operated by the Gates family, descendants of our founding father. This summer Gatesburg celebrated its bicentennial with all the fanfare they could muster. A committee was formed and enthusiasm was high. They commisioned and raised funds for a veterans memorial to be built on church ground by the picnic pavillion at the "center' of town. It is a plaque mounted on a low brick wall inscribed with the names of all Gatesburg residents who have served in the armed forces from the civil war on. I was asked if I served and wanted my name included.

The committee put together a small book of the town's history and a cookbook of recipes contributed by residents. They organized a parade that lasted over an hour: fire engines, antique cars and tractors, a couple of floats, baton twirlers, the town's dignitaries and I think a few folks who just wanted to be in a parade. There was free food with a corn boil and hot dogs, and a pig roast. There were civil war re-enacters with tents and cannons, and demonstrations. There were yard sales, vendors, and live music including an over 60 jazz ensemble aptly called the Second Winds.

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We took in the festivities with visiting family, a young niece and nephew and rode home on a hay wagon enveloped in diesel fumes, engine noise, giggling kids and warm summer air.

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