Special to the
Opelika Observer

When one was living on a 19th century, Lee County family farm, July meant slowing down, laying-by the crops of corn, cotton, peanuts and sugarcane, and trying to keep cool. Mama would have been shelling peas and butterbeans on the front porch or under the shade of the pecan tree and while papa was visiting with neighbors to discuss the upcoming cotton picking season.
Enjoy summertime at Pioneer Park in Loachapoka on July 13 where the goal is to keep cool and celebrate the nation’s Independence just like in the old days. Before the weather gets too hot, join a local farmer in a garden ‘walk ‘n talk’ at 9 a.m.
Discover what grows in Alabama’s summer heat and how these crops influenced our culture. At 9:30 a.m. there will be a class in ‘rag rug’ crocheting taught in the Trade Center. Tom Westmoreland will lead an advanced class (those who feel comfortable with crocheting) and Mary Delaney will lead those who are beginners. This is a very useful home craft using strips of old fabric to make place mats, bag purses, rugs, etc. Fabric strips will be available for participants or each participant may bring their own. Also each person should bring a large crochet hook.
Every second Saturday this summer will feature a “jamming” session from 10 a.m. to noon in the Band Stand Pavilion. The music will include primarily folk tunes but will be open to the participant’s choice.
A group of enthusiastic basket weavers meet at 9 a.m. on “Second Saturday” to make pine needle baskets and other woven crafts. They refer to themselves as the “basket cases” and welcome new participants.
In spite of the heat, the village blacksmiths are usually working at the forge, spinners and weavers are upstairs in the Trade Center and someone is always cooking up a period meal in the Cook House. July’s lunch is sure to include fresh corn from the garden and watermelon from the patch for a hardy, summer meal.
The Whistle Stop Pickers gather to practice at 1 p.m. What a great opportunity for LCHS members and visitors to explore the museums and enjoy a period meal from the Cook House at noon.
Pioneer Park is a project of the Lee County Historical Society, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the history of Lee County and East Alabama.Visit the website: www.leecountyhistoricalsociety.org/ or find them on their Facebook page.