October 22, 2012

Trail blazing through Minco's old west

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star

MINCO — It was a great day for time travel.

Nathan Sanders picked on a mandolin in front of a hay bail seated audience. Pockets of heat from the blacksmith demonstration and the boiling pot of peach cobbler contrasted with a fall breeze in Jefferson Park in Minco.

The Heroes and History Celebration on Oct. 20, hosted by the Jesse Chisholm Scholarship Foundation, was a day of education through imagination.

The festival gives visitors an opportunity to have a hands on experience with history, Levi Clifton, Executive Director of the Jesse Chisholm Scholarship Foundation.

Jerry Franklin and Mike Neal demonstrated how to make a horse shoe. The pair should know the steps to making a quad of clip clops, Franklin has been horseshoeing since 1965 and teaches at the Five Star Horseshoeing School in Minco. Neal is a former student. Franklin said he enjoyed the music and thought the time of year was perfect for an outdoor celebration.

Mike Monroe, a leatherworker, used various tools to make intricate patterns into leather. Using a swivel knife, he traced a flower pattern onto a a strip of leather that would soon be a checkbook cover. Because the leather is warm, it can be beveled, burnished and printed into an embossed picture.

Cory Charlton has is a machinist by trade, but he's honed the art of blacksmithing for 10 years. A member of Saltfork Craftsmen, Charlton demonstrated his skills using old fashioned blacksmithing equipment.

A flute maker demonstrated how he carved limbs into the versatile and varied wind instrument. He said that one day he saw a man from California making a flute and decided he wanted to give it a try. He explained that different flutes come from different woods and that most cultures have their own take. He also demonstrated pyrography, which is writing with fire.

Mike and Kathy Flemming, of Mustang Creek Alpacas, market and sell alpaca products, from knit caps and socks to make-your-own-coils-of-yarn. In addition to other projects, the couple is currently working with Goodwill industries and the disabled.

Sherry Roberts, of Deep Fork Cattle Co. made an old fashioned recipe for peach cobbler in a large, cast iron pot over a fire. Roberts said the highlight of the day was when the cattle were driven through Minco that morning.