Past is present

FARNHAMVILLE – Bill Cook, of Farnhamville, had a front row seat for the annual Old Settler’s Day parade along Garfield Avenue.

He just pulled up a lawn chair in front of his home.

He also, like most of the children along the route, did quite well on filling up a bag with parade goodies.

Among his take were a rubber bracelet, a couple of fliers from office seekers, lots of candy, a package of self-adhesive bandages, a bag with two cookies, and, finally, the tote bag he put all the other stuff in.

He plans on sharing. At least the goodies.

“I’m giving them to the grandkids,” he said.

Kasey Stern, of Farnhamville, and her daughter, Kaitlyn Stern, 12, also had easy access to the parade.

“We only had to walk out our door,” Kasey Stern said.

Kaitlyn Stern managed to get one of the ultimate bits of parade goodies; one group was handing out ready-to-eat hot dogs in a bun.

Those weren’t tossed like candy.

“I got handed it by my friend,” Kaitlyn Stern said.

Stern had initially planned on enjoying the early lunch by herself.

“I wasn’t going to share,” she said. “Now she’s stealing it.”

Her mother enjoyed a bite or two and, at their feet, the family dog, Angel, waited patiently.

“She gets a bite,” they said.

In addition to the annual parade, Old Settler’s Day also featured a car and tractor show along one side of City Park.

Karen Thilges, of Fort Dodge, brought her 1966 Mustang.

“We’ve always loved Mustangs,” she said. “We couldn’t afford it when we were that age.”

She regularly drives the car and enjoys watching people’s reactions.

“I like to see how many high-fives we can get,” she said.

She bought the car in 2002.

“It was sitting along the road with a for sale sign on it,” Thilges said.

Even though her car looks like it was driven off the showroom floor a week ago, she said that it’s not completed.

“You never really finish,” she said. “There’s always something you want to do.”

Another popular event at Old Settler’s Day is the lunch in park.

Steve Gutshall, of Farnhamville, and John Fredrickson, of Gowrie, had the task of boiling a whole bunch of corn on the cob.

“It’s about 350 of them this year,” Gutshall said.

The pair have been at it for a long time; they haven’t missed a year since Old Settler’s Day was revived sometime in the mid-1980s.

“They volunteer us,” Fredrickson joked.