By CHUCK OFFENBURGER
JEFFERSON, Iowa, July 8, 2021 — For the past half-dozen years, retired radio news director Jerry Roberts and I have been moderating “History Chats” during the Greene County Fair, and we’re ready to start them again this Friday and Saturday.
Come join us in the Greene County Historical Society’s building near the front gate at the fairgrounds here in Jefferson.
If you’ve never joined us before, the chats are conducted in a circle of old, wooden, historic-looking folding chairs in the shade and nice breeze our big building provides. We two old journalists start the conversations, and then we coax questions and observations out of audience. We go for up to an hour.
The chats are all free, and several of them over the years have wound up inspiring full programs later for the historical society.
So here’s our line-up for this week:
Friday, July 9, 11 a.m. – “A Salute to Rippey on its Sesquicentennial.” Jerry & I will be interviewing Nancy Hanaman, Roy Bardole and Mary Weaver – all good talkers, so this should really be good, and a good promotion for Rippey’s celebration July 31. Come dip yourself in Rippey history!
Friday, July 9, 1 p.m. – “The Arts in Greene County – Past, Present & maybe Future.” We’re issuing a public invitation to poets, authors, singers, instrumentalists, painters, designers – all artists – to come share some of their work. But more important, we want to gather their thoughts on ideas that we might turn into a broader program for the historical society in the future.
Saturday, July 10, 11 a.m. – We’re reprising “Dig it! The 1950s, ’60s & ’70s.” Jerry & I will talk a little about the tremendous new exhibit that opened last Saturday at our museum uptown. There was a panel discussion then among eight people who lived through that era and had dozens of stories about how those decades transformed life in Greene County. This Saturday, Jerry and I will re-tell some of those stories, and draw other ones out of our audience. I’ve invited all the panelists we had, although I don’t expect many will be able to come join us again. So go see the exhibit at the museum, and then come to our fairgrounds building at 11 a.m. and we’ll talk about it.
Saturday, July 10, 1 p.m. – “What the Historical Society Should Do at the Fair.” We want to gather ideas from the public on what we should do with our fairgrounds buildings, during the fair and year ’round. What should we add? What don’t we need there? What should our facilities out there try to be? What kind of programming should we do there year ’round? Whom do we need to get involved? So, please, those of you with knowledge of county fair history, plus you designers, planners, builders and dreams — all of you come let us hear your ideas.
Chuck Offenburger, of rural Cooper, is a member of the board of directors of the historical society. You can reach him by email at chuck@Offenburger.com.