Old Timers: Season of reflection for locals

MEEKER I Sitting down with the remarkable Mary Ann Wilbur, the former president of “Old Timers Day,” on Friday morning afforded and incredible time to hear life experiences that have taken her far from Meeker and afforded her the opportunity to see several different types of communities and populations in general.

My mom used to say, “grow where you were planted,” and it is that type of profound simplicity that makes Wilbur such a positive advocate for holding on to the traditions and pride of our pioneers.
She said there are things that are similar about all the communities she has lived in—some good and some bad—but one difference is the history of this area and traditions such as the Old Timers celebration, set for June 4 this year.
Four years ago, when she and Connie Theos served as presidents, it was the 100-year anniversary, and they had a slide show with pictures of as many of the former presidents as possible as well as music that fit into that time period.
It is certainly something that requires time and effort from volunteers, but it is well worth it to have the opportunity to sit with long-held friends and catch up.
Last year, the theme was school and recognition was given to the endless work the Rural School Committee of the Rio Blanco County Historical Society has done to research, create brochures and signage for the school houses in the county, as well as fund raise to restore the Coal Creek School.
This year, the theme is agriculture and a presentation is being made on local bees by Jason Dunham.
Mike and Mary Grady have taken priceless pictures of barns around the area and they will share those in a PowerPoint presentation.
This year, in an effort to include members of our whole county, the event will be catered by Giovanni’s from Rangely.
The Rio Blanco County Pioneers Association invites all county residents who have lived in the county for 30 years and their guests to come join in an opportunity to share their stories as the Rio Blanco Historical Society members will once again be recording stories to “Capture our Culture.”
There will be a social time, the dinner, a short business meeting followed by the presentation and then an evening of dancing.
The youngest member in attendance will be recognized as will the couple that has been married the longest as well as the person who traveled the furthest to attend the event.
Old Timers offers an evening of fun and friendship and an opportunity to embrace the pioneering history of our county.
This celebration is the same day as the Meeker High School graduation—June 4—so visitors coming for the weekend can also enjoy an evening out.