By Maclaine ShultsSpecial to the Herald TimesMEEKER I In 1972, Dr. Alan Jones, Dr. Gary Rupp and Dr. Bert White, the local veterinary team, decided that after a long calving season, it was time to get together and have a good time with family and friends to celebrate the end of another successful calving year. It was at that time the After Birth Ball was born.“All the credit should go to the wives and ladies of the community who put the whole thing together,” Dr. Jones states. “They were the ones who cooked all the food and planned out the whole thing.” Mary Strang, Iris Franklin, Jeanie Jones and several other women were involved in bringing together the original potluck that brought the community together.A hat was passed around for funds for the band, there was no charge to get in and no time spent on decorations. The event was meant to be a time for local ranchers and their families to have some fun and relax after a stressful and crucial time of year.“It was a time to just let our hair down, really,” Jones recalls.The event proved successful after a large number of people joined in the fun and it continued to be an awaited celebration for several years to come.The ball was held annually until 1984. In 2010 it was brought back to life and is now under the direction of the Meeker Chamber of Commerce along with help from the Meeker FFA Chapter, sponsored by Enterprise Gas Processing, Encana Oil and Gas, XTO and Williams Production.The goal for the 2011 celebration is to not only bring back a fun tradition to the community but also to honor our past and present ranching generations.The Fairfield Center in Meeker is the place to be this next weekend, May 21, to enjoy fellowship, food, music and dancing in order to celebrate one of Meeker’s unique celebrations.
By Maclaine Shults