Students get glimpse of 'good old days'
FLETCHER Area school-age children caught a glimpse of life during their great-grandparents' time during Heritage Days at the Fletcher Free Fair.
The annual event is hosted by the Poor Boys Antique Tractor Club and this year, thanks to the statewide burn ban, there was no one cooking over an open fire or demonstrating the art of making horseshoes or nails, as has been done in past years. But there were still plenty of interactive displays, ranging from antique farm equipment to making brooms to how to hang laundry on a clothes line. And, of course, the ever-popular homemade ice cream returned.
On the west side of the field between the highway and the fair barns, antique tractors were lined up wheel to wheel. Ropes separated the students and adult chaperones from the antique working machinery as the tractors supplied the power to equipment that is no longer used on a working farm.
The noise from the tractor's engine drowned out even the excited chatter of the children as they watched a machine bale hay or shuck corn with the corn kernels falling into a wagon complete with wooden spoke wheels banded with metal.
While some of the members of the Poor Boys Antique Tractor Club were on the other side of 50 years old, they had also recruited local high school FFA members to help with the farm machinery demonstrations.
Michael Little, a freshman at Elgin and a member of the FFA, shared his love of agriculture as he talked about the importance of corn while the tractor-powered corn shucker separated the shucks and kernels from the cobs while second-graders Shaily Robinson and Elizabeth Peak looked on.
"It's really important to teach the importance of agriculture because there are getting to be less and less farmers today," Little said, explaining why he was enjoying being a part of the event.