Faron Wahl, Manager
With our grand 50th anniversary event less than two weeks away, there’s been a whole lot of “50” talk around here. Besides the obvious point that this milestone makes us a half-century old, pondering 50 brings a person to a number of other fun points. Some relate to us, and others….well, not so much. But 50 is 50, either way.
You can dice up our age limitless ways, depending on what perspective trips your trigger. We’ve been around for a half century, 5 decades, or two score and 10 years. On June 5, the actual anniversary of the groundbreaking, Prairie Village was exactly 18250 days old, or 2607 weeks plus one day, or just over 599 months. Quite a while.
In other 50-speak that ties in nicely, the John Deere model 50 tractor was introduced to replace the model B. It was offered from 1952-1956, more than a decade ahead of our founding, and sold for around $2000. No doubt many wonderful John Deere 50’s have graced our grounds over the years.
Fifty miles is roughly how far I drive to work at Prairie Village. Funny thing is….I find it’s also that same distance getting back home again.
For all of you math minds, you already know that 50 is the smallest number that is the sum of two non –zero square numbers in two different ways. Uh huh.
One way or another, 50 years is a long time, and attempting to absorb all that has happened during that period doesn’t do justice to the names, faces, sweat, and problem-solving inherent to getting us here. All one has to do is look at photos of the grounds when only a few buildings were standing, and you can begin to ponder how very much had to occur since then. How thankful we should be for those folks who kept the vision and didn’t stop when the going no doubt got tough.
There is often misunderstanding regarding what is actually 50 years old. Indeed, the threshing event that started it all in the early 1960’s is now in its 54th year. But many folks still mistakenly refer to past or present Threshing Jamborees as “Prairie Village”. The Village itself came into existence in 1966, not only as a permanent home for those threshing shows, but additionally to preserve broader pioneer history for future generations. The larger property and its functions – the buildings, the railroad, the carousel, and all of the events, not just the Jamboree – make up Prairie Village. The Village didn’t move to its present location in 1966; it was born in 1966, making the Village exactly 50 years old in 2016.
We have much to celebrate at the Village this year. Fifty is a big deal. Please join us July 9-10, and don’t miss the commemorative event Saturday at 2:00 pm at the gazebo. We’ll mark the peak of 50 there, and kick off the next 50 and everything that’s beyond.
Oh, and 50 also happens to be the atomic number of tin, in case you care.