I spent Labor Day recuperating from the “Trails, Rails, and Tales – 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail” celebration. Several people assumed a significant role in the planning and delivering of the festival. Most notably: Michael Hook, Tim Sanders, Deb Sanders, John McDonald, Mary McDonald, Greg Wilson, Samantha Kenner, Michael Hernandez, Connie Cooper, Shawna Landers, Theresa Weishaar, Mary Jane Oard, Glenda Purkis, Jeana Lawrence, and yours truly. The aforementioned and scores of volunteers came together to give Abilene’s cow town history renewed life over the weekend. The diversity and uniqueness of the festival activities, entertainment, and vendors was excellent for a first time event and the attendance demonstrated that. GREAT JOB !!!! I have no doubt that next year will be bigger and better.
While I spent most of the time getting sunburned and running sound equipment, I managed to take in a couple of highlights that brought me a sense of enjoyment and pride in Abilene. I was in awe of the longhorn being loaded onto the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad and being hauled away by the steam engine. Also, I had the pleasure of hanging on every line of the “Rose of Texas Street” melodrama during all three public performances. Theresa Weishaar wrote the melodrama specifically for this event and Margaret Clair from the Great Plains Theatre produced it. The performance of the cast was delightful and often times hilarious.
Many of the key roles being performed by local civic and business leader. If you keep up on civic matters, you may know that leaders do not always see eye to eye. As Patrick Henry said in his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, “… different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, …”. While this is true, it made me proud to see those with differing opinions come together for a common cause… putting on a play to celebrate the events and people that led to the founding of our great city. Although I don’t have 4 generations in the Abilene cemetery, I am proud to be an Abilenian and look forward to doing my part to bring the community together next year.