Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sitting in Russell's Store Musing on Bovina Day

I'm doing something that 30 years ago I wouldn't have imagined. Not only am I writing a Blog entry (I didn't imagine that either), but I'm doing it inside Russell's store in Bovina. I worked for the Russell family from 1968 to 1978, so it seems slightly odd. But change keeps us alive.

Yesterday was Bovina's annual Bovina Day - it was a bigger event than in past years. It actually started with the Brushland Melodrama on Friday night - an event sponsored by the library and one which I unfortunately missed. Everyone who went thoroughly enjoyed it. Chris Ingvordsen filmed it so I do hope to see what I missed.

For Saturday's activities, the weather, though at times threatening, never carried through with anything, keeping the day pretty much rain free. The fire department provided breakfast and demonstrations and the historical society offered a lunch option. The library held its annual used book sale and a number of families around town had their yard sales.

At noon, an event which hasn't been seen in Bovina since the 1920s took place - a vintage baseball game. The Bovina Dairymen took on the Fleischmann Athletic Mountain Club. In a hard fought game the Fleischmann team came out on top 12-11. I'm not a sports fan, but it was very interesting watching these teams playing in the vintage style - that means no gloves! Ouch! The Bovina Dairymen was just formed this year - the brain child of Tim Bray. I will be doing a future blog entry on ball games in Bovina.

At 4 pm, the fire department's parade started out from Coulter Brook. That start allowed me to watch the parade from my front yard - it's where I watched the parade for the town's Sesquicentennial in 1970. This parade wasn't as large as the 1970 event, but a number of area fire departments showed their support by participating. The Bovina UP Church float was the first in the parade, commemorating the congregation's bicentennial. On the float was a model of the UP Church, first seen in the 1956 Old Home Day celebration and beautifully restored. A group of farmers up Crescent Valley had a float to promote Bovina Farm Day on September 6 ( And there were kids on bicycles and people in period costume.

The evening featured a pot luck picnic, then my talk on the history of Bovina's Town Picnics. It was well received, which I appreciated. The evening ended with a series of pie-eating contests and tugs of war - the girls beat the boys and the women beat the men.

I took a ton of pictures which I will post at some point to add to the historical record. And Chris Ingvordsen continued his filming from Friday night throughout Saturday, so we'll have a good video record to add to all the pictures.

Monica Garbriel Liddle, who, with her cousins Colleen Burns Heavey and Lisa Burns Stanton, was in charge of the town picnic portion, was chatting with me as I wrote this and says we'll definitely do this again next year. So history continues...

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