When we headed for Cottonwood Falls, we didn’t know the Flint Hills Folklife Festival would be in full swing. What a wonderful bonus for folks who love history. After our visit with Deb, we joined the festivities that were set up outside the Chase County Courthouse—the oldest courthouse west of the Mississippi that has remained in continuous use. You have to admit, it’s a stately and beautiful edifice. Built in 1881, the courthouse was constructed with Chase County limestone.
After a tour of the courthouse, we returned outdoors to visit with the craftsmen who were weaving, throwing clay pots, spinning, creating banjos out of gourds, making brooms, and playing lots of old-time, toe-tapping music. Homemade root beer and kettle corn added to the atmosphere. And the costuming was fun, too—you’ll see Abe Lincoln joined the musicians for a jam session during the early afternoon.
Roy McClure and my husband had fun talking about the process of making gourds into some unique banjos that produce wonderful music. Only caveat: you still have to know how to play the banjo before it produces that great sound. Believe me, I learned that from a little first-hand experience. That’s Roy doing the pickin’ and my husband doing the grinnin’.
I could hardly believe my eyes when we walked into the local western wear store and I saw Jim Bell standing there. Who would have thought the Christian author and occasional lawyer from Los Angeles, California, would be in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, with his name on a ball cap? He didn’t have anything to say which is unusual for Jim, so I decided he was just too stuffed to talk. However, I did insist upon a snapshot so everyone would know he’d been in town.
After a late lunch, we took a gander at the cottonwood trees and the falls (they’re not going to give Niagara Falls much competition) that give Cottonwood Falls its name. We also took time to visit the museum, an art gallery, a pottery shop, and my husband’s favorite, the fudge shop.
We stopped to tell Deb goodbye, and she mentioned we should visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve if we’d never before been there. We hadn’t. Maybe I’ll tell you about that next week.
May you enjoy a fun-filled week exploring the many wonders God has given us. ~Judy
P.S. We finally made it home about six o'clock.
P.P.S. Hearty congratulations to Robin Lee for winning the HOLT medallion award for Wagered Heart!