More than 80 people journeyed out to the Fossil Creek Llama Ranch at the west end of Strawberry Saturday to enjoy an unusual mixture of culture, drama and history. Guests were treated to a chili and corn chowder supper in the twilight of the day. As darkness approached, Indian flutes and drums called us up the hill. The focus of the night was the reading of a written-for-Broadway play, "Feathers and American Uprising," by Dennis Kizer.
Kizer wrote, directed and starred in the production, taking on roles as the legendary Sioux leader Crazy Horse, and Bordeaux, a trading post and traveling showman. In just three weeks his cast of locals brought his play to life with simple props and genuine feeling.
With a half-crescent moon hanging in a slate black sky, a lone teepee stood more than 12-feet high against black pine trees. In front of that dramatic backdrop, half a dozen children assembled as the American Renaissance Tuba Band.
Local music teacher Daria Mason's beautiful singing voice brought the part of Black Schaal, Crazy Horse's wife, to life, and she brought feeling to the written words.
Barbara Casey took on the role of an Indian grandmother reminiscing with her granddaughter, and Chuck Casey lent his dramatic voice to many parts, including Custer, Grant and Sherman.
But it was the smallest member of the cast, 6-year-old Shelby Stuart, who stole the show with her portrayal of the daughter of Crazy Horse, who died from small pox.
There is talk of another local production. I'll keep you posted.
That old log cabin schoolhouse in Strawberry will be hosting Jack Allen beginning at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10. He will present a concert of old Western songs.
The Schoolhouse will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday for a few more weekends.
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 worked 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.