Such local families as the Skallas, Plutts, Michelsons, Revias, Zuniches, Archers and Barretts brought memorabilia from days past, including old photos, calendars and other keepsakes, to share with those in attendance at the 100th anniversary of the founding of the town.
Sheri Reeder of Redvale, who has been planning the event since February of 2006, was happy with the turnout for this small-town birthday party. She gauged its success by the amount of food that was served. "Seeing as we planned for 200 and we went through 360 plates," she said, the gathering was a hit among locals from the area.
"We're tired, but we're happy," added Verna Barrett, Redvale resident and event volunteer.
Live music played all day on a large flatbed tractor-trailer stage. Spectators gathered on lawn chairs behind a line of hay bales, enjoying the attractions. The Hunt sisters, who were raised in Redvale, played and sang along with Norwood's Spor and Irvine families. The tunes from fiddle players and old-time country music aficionados could have easily been heard 100 years ago on any Redvale front porch, except for one rendition of a Johnny Cash number (sung by a member of the Irvine family).
Ted and Faye Earley, who sat in the audience, have lived in Redvale since 1979. Why Redvale? they were asked.
"Why not?" Ted replied. "I worked in Uravan for Union Carbide. I found this place in Redvale and moved into Ivan McKinney's old home."
Earley and his wife, who are now retired, travel away from town, heading south at different times of the year, but they always come home. "I am going to be here until they put rocks on my face," he said.
The Brays, who donated fine beef for the barbecue, were one of the area’s original founding families. "My family has been here for the full 100 years, said Robert Bray. “I am just the third generation. I think the day turned out to be a wonderful day. I am proud of it."
Butch Priestley, another Redvale resident whose family goes way back, beamed as he walked among friends at the gathering. "It was great to see as many people here," he said, "to remember old memories, and to remember family and see families that used to live here long ago. It has been nice to get to see all the neighbors."
Redvale resident Jodi Miller had a great time, dancing and laughing and pointing out ranch-life traditions. "This is how we grew up," she said.
Lifelong Redvale resident – one of its oldest – and historian Mildred Jacobs Porter, born September 2, 1917, celebrated her 90th birthday at the event. She sat in the cool of the Redvale Community Center, surrounded by two sisters, her son and many friends who stopped in to chat. Porter stood out like a star, dressed in a lovely summer outfit adorned with flowers. Her dignity and grace was evident as she greeted visitors and newcomers.
The event was a success, full of down-home charm and plenty of friendly faces.
"I live in a great community," said Reeder, "and I made lots of new friends today."
Horseshoe Tourney to Benefit Sarah Engel
Norwood’s Sarah Engel was hospitalized last month with diverticulitis, and as her medical bills mount, friends are organizing a variety of benefits to help ease the financial strain.
On Sunday, Steve and Jim Dabal hosted a horseshoe tournament to offset Engel's expenses. The turnout was better than expected, as duos competed for prizes. A random drawing determined partners, and competition was fierce, with men and some women playing. The winning teams of Nat Walsh and Steve McLeroy in first place and Matt Sheehan and Kyle Dinsmore in second place took home cash prizes; over $250 was raised from entry fees and donations.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, a fundraising auction will be held at the Telluride Elks Club. To donate items, please contact Annie Ray at 327-4781.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, another auction will be held at Norwood’s Livery Playhouse. Live music – plus a Neil Diamond Sing-Alike Contest – will be the featured entertainment. Contact Kristina Stellhorn at 428-4028 or Ray for more information on how to help with either of these events.