Oklahoma Heritage Festival

By Staff
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Cooking molasses, left to right, Jim Doerksen, Lincoln Emery, Don Colwell, Alvis Lum, Jerry Runnels.

Superintendent Cache Public Schools 201 West H Avenue Cache,
Oklahoma 73527

Cache (pronounced Cash, means to store or hide something)
Schools served as host for the Oklahoma Heritage Festival held
September 23 &. 24, 1994. The festival proved to be another
success. It is held every other year on the fourth Friday and
Saturday of even number years. The next festival is scheduled to be
held September 27 & 28, 1996.

To our knowledge, this is the only show of this type to be held
by a school. A number of the tractor and engine shows are having a
student day, which is great and is exactly what should be done.
Remember to be patient with students. There are a lot of you who
think young people should become more involved. It is our
responsibility to contact the schools to make them aware that we
are willing to help and what each of us has to offer.

Here at Cache, we have a number of people who volunteer their
time. Our Ag Mechanics Class has rebuilt four or five tractors and
worked on others in the past few years. Volunteers have given their
time.

We started our festival around 1982 because some people wanted
to share their knowledge and interest in our heritage with our
students. The involvement of our local people has kept it going. We
have had exhibitors from Texas, Kansas and New Mexico, but we
really need more to come share their knowledge and expertise with
us.

Our goals are to get the students out of the classroom to
actually see our history in action. They are always amazed at what
our forefathers could do and how they could do so much with so
little. My hidden goal is to let the youngest know that they
don’t have to turn to drugs. They too can make it (life) happen
with what they have.

Some of our exhibitors and exhibits are: sorghum milling and
syrup making, grain grinding, soap making, broom-corn thrashings,
broom making, rope making, wheat threshing and blacksmithing. Some
of the equipment displays include horse drawn wagons, plows,
planters, Lister, hay balers, antique vehicles and one cylinder
engines.

We also have a large collection of household paraphernalia and
other inside exhibits.

This year the unique exhibits included quilting, demonstrated by
local women. Students participated by trying their hand at
quilting. There was also a display of Indian jewelry and story
telling by Shirley Drummond. Also there was story telling by
Cache’s own Mr. Dave Titus and Captain Jack Parker, a humorist
from Mt. View, Oklahoma, who kept the students spell-bound by his
tales. The Buffalo Hunting Encampment of El Reno was a new exhibit
and was overrun by interested students .

Horseshoeing demonstrated by Jerry Dodd of Olustee, was enjoyed
by all the students, as well as blacksmithing by Rudy Kemp of
Cyril. Another blacksmith exhibit was set up, as always, by our
local smitty, George Hollander. Danny Hollander did the smitting
while George took time to talk with people as they came by. Earl
and Barbara Bodine of Burkburnett, Texas, exhibited a 1937 W-30
McCormick tractor, and we had other exhibitors as well from Texas.
We had a good showing from the Duncan group such as Jim Doersen
with his trailer of engines, and the can smasher, which is always a
favorite. Tommy Anthony came to share his tractor knowledge. Others
came from Duncan to display IHC and John Deere tractors.

Keith Pittinger, Blanchard, Oklahoma, did not bring his John
Deere ‘D’ but instead, showed a nice RC Case tractor. Dave
Schmidt and friend from Apache, Oklahoma, displayed his scaled-down
steam engine, as well as other exhibits. Jeff and Beulah Booker
made and stuffed sausage.

Assisting with the quilt display was Delemarette Miller of
Lawton. She demonstrated the quilting technique to the students
allowing some students a hands-on experience. One of our own,
Frances Wynn, did her usual great job of tatting, supplying us with
a nice display. ‘Now, do you know what tatting is ?’ she
asked. ‘I do now,’ was the reply. Another great display was
of old tools contributed by Mr. and Mrs. E. J. (Goose) Gosnell of
Isabella, Oklahoma.

We missed Ben Benson’s horses and stage coach rides this
year as he was unable to attend due to sickness. However, we had
two Belgium draft horses belonging to my dad, Hugh E. Colwell, of
Elmore City, Oklahoma, which was an added attraction to the
barnyard display. I must say thanks to Roney Smith, Middle School
math teacher, for taking the responsibility of putting together the
children’s barnyard. We also missed Bobby Paul, whom we lost
this past year due to a heart attack. He was one of the friendliest
and most helpful persons in town. He helped cook the molasses and
always helped with cutting the cane, not to mention many other
jobs. He had just learned how to make brooms and did an excellent
job during our Festival of ’92. He loved kids and enjoyed
demonstrating our past. We missed Bob.

I have been saving three family exhibitors until last only
because they are special and also make the festival successful due
to their expertise, help and support. I have already mentioned
George Hollander. He and his wife Pat take care of the inside
exhibits, helping in any way they can, as well as displaying an
abundance of information about the history of Cache. Cecil and
Gloria Labude from Faxon, Oklahoma, 10 miles south of Cache, are
big supporters of our program. He brings his Frick steam engine, a
24,000 lb. job which is not an easy task to move. He brings antique
cars along with his broom making machine. Geri and Alvis Lum are
always lending a helping hand and also display a variety of
exhibits. Mrs. Lum helps Pat with the exhibits on the inside. Mr.
Lum had a great educational display this year on W.W.II, of which
he is a veteran. He also displays engines, wind chargers, traps and
antique cars. Mr. and Mrs. Lum started the festival and then
allowed the school to take over. They help during the year also.
The Lawton Antique Car Club puts on a good display for us.

Also I have to (no, I want to) say a big Thank You to my 14 year
old son, Terry, for his work and support during the time spent
putting the show together. From running his Model B John Deere to
doing many more odd jobs that have to be done that I could never
get done without his help. He helps me plant and harvest wheat,
broomcorn, sorghum, and is always there and ready to help. Also
thanks to my wife Gladys for her patience.

Mr. David Dorrell, our Ag instructor, is involved with the young
people in teaching them about machinery and other things. I
appreciate him because he does a lot along with his students to get
ready for the show.

I know there are others, locally and from different areas
around, who help tremendously that I have not mentioned. Cache
Schools and I are indebted to each of them.

Middle School students offered an information booth. A big
thanks to our Ag 4-H Parents Booster Club for running the
concession stand and serving the barbecue supper on Saturday. This
is our way we say thanks to our exhibitors. This year thanks goes
to Gail Niyah and our Indian Parent Committee for the
festival’s fine Pow Wow held on Saturday evening.

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