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Pioneer pastimes pervade Franklin summer

Every week when we’re working on the community calendar and planning what stories we’ll be covering in the newspaper, we always take a peek back at what was happening around this time last year. We want to make sure – are there annual events we need to get on the calendar? Did something take place that deserves a “one year later” follow-up?

Last year around this time we were getting geared up for Franklin County’s Pioneer Day celebration. Just a couple of weeks ago I was thinking, hmm, wonder if we’ll have a Pioneer Day celebration again in 2019?

Well. Let’s get ready folks, because here comes The Way We Were Saturdays.

I can’t tell you how excited I am for the Russellville Bicentennial Committee’s first Saturday history series called The Way We Were, featuring historical demos and exhibits as well as historic figure portrayals.

I just live for this kind of thing. There’s a certain nostalgia that surrounds those pioneer days, despite the hardship. It was an exciting, formative time in our country’s history and a heritage I think we can be proud of.

The “Little House on the Prairie” books are, for me as for so many readers, stories that ignite the imagination and remind us of this time of our nation’s founding years. They continue to be some of my favorite books to re-read.

Although I consider myself a voracious reader, however, even better than reading about those days is reliving them.

For the first of Russellville’s The Way We Were Saturdays, set for May 4, Glenn Rikard will display historical quilts and give a talk about the history of quilting. Frank Stone will give wagon rides for children, and Shannon Wilson will display antique buggies. Johnny Richardson will exhibit his vast arrowhead collection, and Buffie Ozbirn will demonstrate handkerchief doll-making.

What a chance to experience “the olden days” as we fondly call them and show our pride in the way we were!

The Way We Were Saturday events will recur June 8, July 13 and Aug. 10. All events will be at the Russellville Canteen, 217 Washington Ave.

I can’t wait to see you there.