Bushwhacker Days -- Fire, flags and fathers

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hi neighbors.

What a weekend! The Bushwhacker Days celebration ends with a big bang with lots of good music, good food, good friends and neighbors having a good time.

It is our annual remembrance of a bitter war, homes lost to fire and family lost in battles. Not intended to stir up old animosities, the Bushwhacker Days celebration is meant to remind us all that whatever our differences, we are all one people.

Let us not forget Saturday is also Flag Day. If you have one, fly it proudly for all to see.

Don't forget to know and show the proper respect for Old Glory when displaying it on your property or in a parade. Don't forget the citizen's salute when it passes you by. No matter what the occasion, seeing the red, white and blue on display always brings proud-to-be-an-American patriotic tears to my eyes.

Many men in my family were proud to serve under that standard, proud to carry it into battle, and were certain they left sad but safe family members behind to take the flag from the fellow warriors who removed it from their coffins.

Father's Day is here Sunday! Here's something to do this weekend. Sit down and write a little about every Father's Day you can remember. Your own father, your husband, your step-father, your brother who is now a father, your son who will one day be a father. These little paragraphs will have great meaning to those who read about their great-great-great grandfather sitting on his wife's favorite rocking chair at the river bank fishing.

How about the time your father was going to grill the family picnic hot dogs and let them all roll in the wrong direction and fall into the fire?

Remember your youngest son who always wanted s'mores and who set the tablecloth on fire at the park table by dropping a burning marshmallow on it? Oh my, such stories! Such memories!

I hope you have a nice big family get together, grill some burgers (or hot dogs), put some marshmallows on a stick and make some s'mores. Take lots of pictures, lots of pictures. Then email them all to each other next week.

Remind Dad you love him and appreciate him for all he does -- not just for melting the hamburgers into quarter-sized rocks. Offer to take him out to celebrate early. And do I know a place to take him!

Have you been to the Bushwhacker Museum yet this year? That's always a great place to go. Since it is this weekend -- don't look bored when he starts telling you about how all those things on display 'really worked'.

Instead, tell him to share some stories from his memory about using some of the farm equipment on display. Ask him about his military uniform while he explains what each article and button on the ones in the exhibits means.

Not only will you get him all fired up about sharing with you what he knows, he can also share his own history that way. You'll find the museum is not only about "ancient" history, but about your own family's experiences.

If you catch the reenactments that will give you even more things to point out at the museum or on the square. (Depends on which place/event you see first.)

Don't forget our musical heritage. Country music has its own genealogical roots in Irish jigs as well as other influences. There will be plenty of music on the square this weekend.

Take the kids to see the vendors. Tell them about how people used to shop in markets set up along a street. (Not too dissimilar to today's strip malls.) Each vendor had their own place to set up and sell their goods.

Of course, you need to do all of this before the carnival rides start up. There is little that can compete with an electrical merry-go-round for a child's attention.

Whatever you do this weekend, remember to make it your own and make it something your children will remember as part of their own family.

Until the next time friends, remember that to have fun: eat lots, see all you can, hear all you can and share as much of it as you can with your loved ones.