Can you believe it? School has started. The busses are running regularly, plucking small bodies with bright shiny faces from the forest and depositing them in the center of Pine for their educational benefit.
Along with the start of school comes the final summer hurrah Labor Day weekend and then thoughts begin to shift to the Northern Gila County Fair.
I have lots of events to report to you and encourage you to attend but before I get started on my regular shtick I need to say a word of thanks.
My mother passed away Aug. 11, and I spent the past two weeks helping her through the transition. During that time, my focus was shifted, and I appreciate your patience and kindness. I also value the numerous cards, prayers and expressions of love you have all sent for me and my family. Thanks for missing this column and being patient enough to wait for its return. On with the show.
That old log cabin in Strawberry has been a hub of activity this summer. As fall approaches, the hours for the Oldest Standing Schoolhouse in Arizona will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4 for Labor Day.
The Fossil Creek Llama ranch is hosting an Indian Summer Evening, featuring the reading of the Broadway play, "Feathers and American Uprising" and an authentic Native American supper. The cost for the event, which will be held Sept. 3, is $15 for adults and $10 for children. The reading of the play, written by Strawberry native Dennis Kiser, will follow dinner. The play is a dramatic look at the life and times of Native American legend Crazy Horse.
Labor Day weekend
The Pine-Strawberry Arts-n-Crafts Guild will present its third and final craft fair of the 2000 season during the last long holiday of the summer. Saturday and Sunday you will find vendors, crafts, food booths and friends nestled together inside and outside at the Pine Community Center in Pine. This is a good chance to get ahead on your Christmas shopping. What better place to gather unique gifts?
The Rim Country Kiwanis Club will be cooking up pancakes early and the Pine Museum and Rim Country Chamber of Commerce office will be open for guests.
Northern Gila County Fair
Got your fair entries ready? Growing something special now that Mother Nature has showered us with rain? You know the fair is less than a month away. This tribute to small-town life is not to be missed. Young and old compete annually for bragging rights to the biggest, best and prettiest flowers, veggies, pictures, quilts, jams and other homespun items.
Animals are always a featured favorite at this community event. Now is the time to plan on buying a market animal during the livestock auction. 4-H and FFA students from all over Rim country have been hand-raising sheep, hogs and cattle to bring to the auction. This is what they have worker hard all summer for a chance to earn a little money and a lot of respect. In return for purchasing a freezer full of beef, pork or lamb, you will know that you have supported the hands-on education of a community member.
Be sure to mark the morning of Saturday, Sept. 16 on your calendar to attend the auction.