By Lynn Moncus: Quay County Sun Columnist
Last Saturday, hundreds of people flocked to Amistad to honor the 100th birthday of that village and to spend much quality time just visiting.
When the people of that area decide to put on a celebration, they just naturally know what to do and how to do it. They even planned the perfect time so those of us who came from far and near could admire the beauty of the rolling green pastures and could use our imaginations to know how the pioneers might have felt as they moved to their new land.
The visitors were greeted at the entrance and were then greeted at every turn by friendly people of all ages. Whether or not we knew each other, we had time for pleasant conversation and were unhurried as we wandered around, looking, listening, and relaxing. We were free to participate in various events, to learn about the past, or merely to watch the people as they came and went.
Of course, I spent much time watching, listening, and wondering what some of the people who had called that area home were thinking as they walked from place to place.
One thing that really got my attention was the lack of excessive noise as we wandered around. I just automatically fell into the past and recalled how quiet most gatherings used to be. We could hear the buzz of conversation among the groups and could hear real laughter as people enjoyed being together. We could watch old friends greeting each other with great hugs as they recognized each other after long absences. Seeing the happy faces was a real privilege.
The country atmosphere among country people is almost impossible to describe, but country people know what I’m talking about because they feel as comfortable as I do when at such a gathering. We tend to become relaxed enough to be ourselves without feeling the need for any kind of pretense. Whereas, we may not feel at ease talking to strangers elsewhere; we become totally at ease without even feeling we are talking to someone we have never seen before. We speak the same language and don’t feel that we are really meeting people we have never known before.
I was particularly touched by the number of young children who stopped to chat with someone they didn’t know. Their manners and their adult-like conversation showed how much their parents do for them and how much they love them. Although I could see the excitement in their eyes, they were able to remain poised while speaking to their elders.
They were having a good time without benefit of all the electronic gadgets we usually see in their hands. They obviously knew how to play on their own without disrupting all in hearing distance. Seeing such behavior gave me much hope that all will be well for them in the future.
This woman from Ima would surely like to thank the people who worked so hard to put on a real country celebration.
They brought the past alive for a few hours and made many of us proud to be from the country. Pioneer traditions were most evident and made us aware of our heritage. Those few hours of escape from the pressures of the present were more rewarding than they will ever know.