Wally's World 3

 

A festival of fun

 

Being a huge fan of “old timey” stuff, having a strong interest in history and genuinely appreciating arts, crafts and the people who produce them, Wally was right at home at the Festival of Yesteryear last Saturday at the fairgrounds in Raymondville, Mo.

From the moment he set furry foot on the grassy acreage, the young Corgified Terrier was in high-alert mode, making sure he didn’t miss a single sight, sound or (especially) smell. As I held the leash bearing my long and low business partner, I was quickly impressed by the magnitude of the deal, which was staged as a fundraiser for the hard-working volunteers with the Raymondville Fire Department.

There were dozens of booths, games and displays, and along with my oldest daughter, Roxanne, and our other dog Gertie (the Permapup), we met many interesting people, many of whom were obviously very talented in their fields or with their hobbies.

After a reconnaissance lap around the grounds, Wally made a beeline to where members of Cabool’s Ozarks Older Iron Club had several vintage tractors on display. The canine Brillo pad honed in on a 1955 Ferguson model 40 tractor and got behind the wheel.

“Reminds me of the one my ancestor Waldo Wallace used to plow the back 300 at his farm near Wally Wally, Wallington,” he said. “I’ve seen photos.”

“Uh, I think that’s Walla Walla, Washington, chief,” I said. “And wow, it must have been difficult to reach the pedals with those short legs and hard to steer with no thumbs.”

WALLY

WALLY

“Yeah, and it snowed 24/7, 365, and was uphill in every direction,” Wally said.

“Sounds rough,” I said.

Next, we stopped by where Tyrone resident Don Rutherford had his team of draft horses hooked up to an authentic stagecoach. Wally and I got up in the driver’s seat alongside Don.

“Hand me that six shooter,” Wally said. “I’ll handle any robbers who are dumb enough to trouble us.”

“I think we’ll be OK, Mr. Earp,” I said. “And again, shooting a pistol with any accuracy is going to be tough with no thumbs.”

“Just let me at ’em,” Wally said.

“I have a better idea,” I said. “Let’s check out what those guys are doing over there.”

They were making and selling kettle corn.

“Mmm, that’s the good stuff,” Wally said. “I’ll take two large bags.”

“Make that one small bag,” I said.

Wally’s ears suddenly stood up and he looked toward the covered dance floor on the west side of the grounds. Lo and behold, Smokey the Bear was dancing with a group of children to kids’ music blaring over the sound system.

“What is that big thing and why is it pretending to look like a ranger?” Wally said.

“That’s Smokey, the Forest Service’s mascot,” I said. “He goes around visiting kids to raise awareness of fire prevention and stuff like that.”

“I hope he doesn’t trip and fall on top of one of those little girls,” Wally said. “That would be pancake city.”

“I’m sure he’ll be careful,” I said. “At least, I hope so.”

As we continued enjoying the festival and the perfect fall weather, we stopped at lots of booths with a wide variety of fascinating things to see. Wally especially liked the old-fashioned works and demonstrations, like the “rug twining” being done by a woman from Birch Tree.

“You know, twining is a term also used to describe a basket weaving technique used for thousands of years,” Wally said. “Nobody really knows how long baskets have been being twined, but the oldest known baskets made that way were discovered in Egypt and have been dated to between 10,000 and 12,000 years old. That’s earlier than any archeological finds of pottery.”

“Wow, boy, your knowledge of history never ceases to amaze me,” I said.

“I’m just sayin’,” Wally said.

Wally also liked the wooden pots and bowls fabricated by a Houston man and the “chair caning” being done by a woman from Koshkonong.

“Koshkonong?” Wally said. “Sounds like some kind of nasal condition or candy bar.”

Before we left, Wally got aboard a Raymondville Fire Department pumper truck that was parked in plain sight for anyone interested to view.

“There’s a house fire in town!” he said. “Let’s roll!”

“I don’t think so, big man,” I said.

“An outbuilding in Oscar ablaze?” Wally said.

“Not that I’m aware of,” I said.

“A stogie smoldering in Summersville?” he said.

“We probably won’t be responding to any fires today, boy,” I said. “I think the real firefighters might just be better equipped, anyway. Besides, how are you gonna – ”

“I know, I know – no thumbs,” Wally said.

As the four of us loaded back into the truck to head out, it was easy to tell that Wally was tired, but satisfied.

“All that old-timey stuff kind of reminded me of my two all-time favorite TV shows – the Wallytons and Little Dog House in the Back Yard,” he said.

“I know what you mean, chief,” I said. “I know what you mean.”

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Wally is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi – Wirehaired Fox Terrier mix. Email Wally at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

Wally and his sidekick Doug Davison sit with Tyrone resident Don Rutherford at the fron of a stage coach at last Saturday's Festival of Yesteryear in Raymondville. Rutherford and his team of draft horses provIded free rides to attendees of the event.

Wally and his sidekick Doug Davison sit with Tyrone resident Don Rutherford at the front of a stagecoach at last Saturday’s Festival of Yesteryear in Raymondville, Missouri. Rutherford and his team of draft horses provided free rides to attendees of the event.

With his sidekick Doug Davison behind him, Wally prepares to drive a 1950 Ferguson 40 tractor during last Saturday's Festival of Yesteryear in Raymondville. Cabool's Ozarks Older Iron Club had numerous vintage farm vehicles on display at the event.

With his sidekick Doug Davison behind him, Wally prepares to drive a 1950 Ferguson 40 tractor during last Saturday’s Festival of Yesteryear in Raymondville. Cabool’s Ozarks Older Iron Club had numerous vintage farm vehicles on display at the event.

Wally and his sidekick Doug Davison take a break during last Saturday's Festival of Yesteryear in Raymondville.

Wally and his sidekick Doug Davison take a break during last Saturday’s Festival of Yesteryear in Raymondville.

Wally and his sidekick Doug Davison hang out on a Raymondville Fire Department pumper truck.

Wally and his sidekick Doug Davison hang out on a Raymondville Fire Department pumper truck.

 

Advertisements