I'm actually writing this in the 'upper rooms' of the Bovina U.P. Church, where everything right now is quiet. The events of this morning and afternoon went off well, in spite of the continuing cloudiness for the outdoor events (of course, it's sunny now). The bell ringing went off mostly as planned, but we were minus one bell. We were chagrined to discover the bell of the old fire house didn't function. We did get Carver Farrell to ring the bell from the old school and after a few rings, that was my cue to start ringing the town's largest bell, the one in the church. I took a video of my ringing and I really had to put my whole body into it, but I managed just under a minute and a half and it sounded respectable. Note: While Carver was ringing the school bell, the rope broke, so Bovina is down to one functioning bell!
A brief ceremony was held to unveil the historic marker that was just put up yesterday (see my previous blog posting). Pastor Judi Gage and 80 year member Agnes Burns did the unveiling. We had good press coverage (there was an article in today's Oneonta Daily Star: http://www.thedailystar.com/local/local_story_283040048.html). We had photographers from the Catskill Mountain News and the Delaware County Times. Attending this ceremony were past pastors John Kloepfer and Karen Green.
The ceremony was followed at noon by a service, history talk and picnic at the site of the original church, about a half mile from the current building. So of course, it was about the coldest and windiest part of the day. None-the-less, 40 hardy souls, including Agnes Burns, came for the brief service, a brief talk by yours truly, and some reminiscences by Rev. Kloepfer. I'll provide some information about the original site in a day or so. We visited some of the old graves, including that of Bovina's first pastor, Rev. Robert Laing.
I spent the afternoon in the church parlors with a computer and scanner to scan any pictures people might care to bring. My cousin Helen Tyrell brought pictures from Bovina's 175th Brithday celebrations. We also had a number of people look at the list I created of all 2100+ members. I am discovering that the list is not completely accurate, so it's been a chance to start a project I hope to carry out this winter of creating a definitive list.
Ok, I need to head to my house to freshen up and get ready for my biggest part of this - the history program tonight at 7 pm.