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Piano Movers and Community Dances

This Wednesday, October 18 at 5:00 PM we will have a Entiat Community Historical Society meeting at the Entiat Museum. Please join us and share good company and a good time. We have lots of exciting projects this year!

Just last week, a group of strong and capable people, namely Bruce, Mike, Case, Blake and Liz accomplished the amazing feat of bringing the piano that was once at the old Ardenvoir school up from a basement where it had been stored to the Entiat Museum. Many thanks to the donor and to the hardy crew who moved it! The information about it is yet to be fully known, but there is a date on the piano of 1918, likely the date it was manufactured. I will share more information as we learn more about it.

In the meanwhile, I thought I would share another of Bruce Foxworthy's stories about life in the Entiat Valley from his book "Making Do and Hanging On". This one is about the Ardenvoir Community Hall dances. He writes, " Oh the dances, I remember them well, especially those in the old hall, when I was little and impressed by every aspect: the big space, everyone in dress-up clothes, and all those cheerful mostly unfamiliar adults, clustered in conversation groups or gyrating around the floor to the music of the band.... My folks came early, because Daddy often played drums in the band. H had only a basic drum set, but what set his apart was a painting of a Hawaiian scene on the big bass drumhead and a light inside that flashed on and off. To me and my friends that drum was nifty. The rest of the band usually consisted of a piano and a fiddle. The fiddler I remember was Charlie Mathews, ... A couple of different ladies played the piano. ...The little band played old standard music including peppy tunes like Buffalo Gal, She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain, Five-Foot-Two, and If you Knew Suzie, as well as more romantic songs lie Moonlight and Roses, and In the Good Old Sumer Time.... The band always wound down the evening with Let Me Call You Sweetheart, followed immediately by Goodnight Ladies which officially closed the dance. "

Music does something to our soul. I remember my kindergarten class at Border Star School in Kansas City, Mo. having a piano in the room, to which we sang and danced. One song I recall went something like, "tra la- la -boom de ay!" with a catchy rhythm and melody. My sisters and I all had the same kindergarten teacher , and all knew the song. We would sing it loudly as we flew through the air on our swings. Early impressions of music are unique sorts of memories.

Plans are growing for an upcoming Hispanic Heritage Project, in which information about our Hispanic families who have been in Entiat for generation will be interviewed. Their stories will be told and preserved, both orally and in the form of a display. Much is yet to happen, but this is such an important project that time and patience will be needed to complete it.

You will notice progress on the "Mercantile Building" the next time you are down at the park. Gary Dickinson has almost completed the siding and added the structure for the front porch. We are so very thankful for his wonderful carpentry skills and volunteer labor.

Rex, the one man band illustrated here, was a comrade and friend to all. He lived and worked in Entiat for many years, performing several times for a school program. Today October 18, is, coincidentally - Rex's birthday! We knew him well and miss him as he is now singing in heaven with the angels.

My daughter Ruthie Nicklaus is the artist of the attached drawings . She has a talent for capturing soul in her drawings, with the most charming results. I am a shameless admirer as is obvious. Hope to see you soon, and that life treats you to good music, good art, good food and good company, which we always need no matter the era.

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Leanne Long
Leanne Long
Oct 16, 2023

I don't know Bruce Foxworthy and I didn't grow up during the depression!! But I also remember the Ardenvoir school house. It was quite a community hall as I remember it. There were dances, parties, wedding showers, a library that I can recall. As a child, we climbed the fire escape and slid down - beware to anyone climbing up when another child was sliding down!!

Oct 17, 2023
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I can imagine how fun it would have been to grow up here. I bet there were lots of fun times had at the Ardenvoir school over the years. We need that kind of connection again. Thank you for sharing your memories.

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