MEEKER | The statement, “A good time was had by all,” ended many a Meeker Herald report about the annual Oldtimers’ Reunion and Dance. Even though it’s a biased assumption made by the writer—who has no way of knowing if everyone attending had a good time—it must be mostly true. After all, what kind of party is held every year for more than a century if the folks who attend don’t have fun?
The 106th annual Oldtimers’ Reunion and Dance will be held on June 2, replete with all the usual activities and entertainment and, above all, opportunities to cherish past memories and make new ones with friends and family.
This year’s theme is “Blame It All On My Roots,” so it seems appropriate to look back at the roots of the Oldtimers’ reunion and see what was going on when it all began. Those who signed the registry at the first event included the year they first visited the White River Valley and the year they settled here. For many, the years were the same. One of those names was James Lyttle, the founding publisher of the Meeker Herald.
What was going on in the world back in 1912?
- The Republic of China was proclaimed, following the overthrow of the last imperial dynasty.
- New Mexico and Arizona became the 47th and 48th states of the U.S.
- The RMS Titanic sank in the northern Atlantic. Between 1,517 and 1,636 lives were lost.
- The Novarupta volcano in the U.S. Territory of Alaska experienced the largest eruption in the 20th century.
- Woodrow Wilson won the presidential election over Theodore Roosevelt.
Jan. 27, 1912
“Preparations for the old-timers’ blowout are progressing favorably, and a grand time will be the natural result.”
Feb. 3, 1912
“On counting noses this week it was discovered that if all the pioneers and their immediate families attended, all the halls in town would not accommodate the crowd. Therefore, it was decided to limit the gathering to pioneers and their wives and pioneer bachelors. After the organization of the Pioneers’ society it is proposed to take steps for a summer meeting of the pioneers, to which all, old and young pioneers, will be welcomed.” (A report from a midsummer meeting in 1912 was not found.)
Feb. 17, 1912
“In January, 1912, the matter of having an old-timers’ reunion was suggested by ‘one of them,’ and soon thereafter it was decided to have such a blow-out on the ninth day of February following.” (The first reunion and dance was held at the Odd Fellows Hall, which is the present site of Mountain Valley Bank.)
WHAT: 106th annual Oldtimers’ Reunion Dinner and Dance
WHERE: Fairfield Center, 200 Main St., Meeker, Colo.
WHEN: June 2, 2018
- Doors open at 3 p.m. for “Capturing Our Culture”—a time to share oral histories individually, as a family, school class or other group.
- Social hour begins at 5 p.m. with a cash bar provided by the Lions Club.
- Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. followed by dancing with live music by the Slopeside Live Band.
WHO CAN ATTEND:
Anyone (and a significant other) who is at least 30 years old and has ever been enrolled in any of the Rio Blanco County schools for any length of time, is invited and welcome to attend this year’s event.
$35/person. Preregister by calling Haley Kracht, 970-942-7100, by May 26, or purchase at the door.