Monday, September 7, 2009

Bovina Farm Day

It's a cloudy morning in Bovina as I sit in Russell's Store. Bea is getting things up and running and I'm catching up on a day and a half worth of Internet stuff.

So Bovina Farm Day. What a major success it was. At least 700 people headed up Crescent Valley Road for the day's festivities. The absolutely gorgeous weather (not like today's clouds) certainly helped, but so did the advertising. My role was to have a display about Bovina farming and to scan any pictures people cared to bring. No one brought any pictures, but I got a good amount of traffic from people with questions. And I had some aerial pictures taken in 1946 by Bob Wyer to share. People enjoyed those and were very helpful in identifying a couple of my mystery photos. And a classmate of mine, Marie Menke, noted that one of my pictures in the Cape Horn area was printed backwards!

Here are my semi-raw notes I took yesterday as the day unfolded:

10:45 am. It started out a bit chilly - 45 degrees at the house. I headed up Crescent Valley at 8:30, stopping at the Maynard School to leave off with Jan Bray a notebook of tidbits about the school. Evelyn Stewart, one of the organizers, got me set up in the big tent while others arrived with maple syrup, flowers and herbs (the dill smell is great), corn, onions, eggs, beef, and holiday trimmings. People came with pigs, rabbits, chickens (with some baby chicks), horses, cows and goats.

12:02 pm. The crowds so far have been very healthy. Donna Weber, another of the organizers, is thrilled and somewhat surprised at the numbers. She noted that yesterday, crowds started coming in response to a notice with the incorrect date. So there was some clue that there would be interest, but would they come a second day all the way up Crescent Valley? Yes they did.

1:09 pm. The crowds keep coming. It certainly appears that this has been a runaway success. No two ways about it. I’m not getting heavy traffic, but a fair amount of interest. The scanner so far is inactive, but this isn’t really a problem. There’s plenty to see, do and eat!

1:45 pm. Just had a debate over whether or not the 1946 picture of what was mislabeled the John Burns farm is actually the Draffen farm. We’ve confirmed it’s not the John Burns farm but no agreement has been reached as to whether it is the Draffen farm or where the heck it is. And the crowds continue to come. I’m just totally thrilled for the folks who worked so hard to organize this event.

3:30 pm. It’s actually starting to wind down a bit though folks are still visiting the vendors and I continue to get some traffic. It’s clouded up some, but still is lovely. I’m going to be really tired, but happily so.

3:51 pm. Speculation starts about how many came. It was $5 a car, so the car count is key. The official word from the folks collecting the money was 140 cars but likely more. That means over 500 people. All I know is that the hay wagon taking people down to see the Maynard School has been running almost continuously.

5:00pm Breakdown time. Everyone agrees that this was wildly successful. A final count of the money collected per car indicates that it is likely that over 700 people came. Vendors did a brisk business (including some from yours truly). I made a number of contacts and have already asked to be invited again if they do this next year. Today’s success likely will lead them to give it a try again in 2010.

So now it's on to Columbus Day weekend and the celebration of the Bovina UP Church's Bicentennial. But I'm also already thinking about what I might bring to share for the Second Annual Bovina Farm Day!

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