Prairie Village News 8/15/17

Faron Wahl, Manager

We’re all about preservation. Conceptually, our organization’s motto has it covered: “Where preservation of the past is building for the future”. In practice, acts of preservation are widely visible in the daily boots-on-the-ground work that goes on here, starting with our staff’s labors and extending into the great efforts of many kind volunteers.

But beyond preserving the actual artifacts of yesteryear, sometimes it’s important to preserve a glimpse of what we do currently, allowing us to sit back and smile at today’s fruits of the labors of many over the past 50-plus years. A preserved affirmation of what we’ve attained is a worthy exercise, plus it’s encouraging and just plain fun.

If you would savor viewing a compilation of some of the village’s best features and annual showings from the comfort of your sofa or recliner, we have just the package for you.

Well over a year ago, I was in contact with Steve Mitchell, owner of Yard Goat Images out of Minneapolis. Through his company, Steve does extensive digital filming and editing, producing railroad DVDs sold online and at shows across the country. This firm aims to deliver programming that celebrates historic equipment and the great people who labor to preserve, maintain, and operate it. Can you hear Prairie Village ringing in that statement?

Steve and I visited about the possibilities of him filming here during our 2016 Railroad Days. Being personally familiar with Yard Goat’s products, I invited him to come in and take a crack at our offerings. Steve’s visit and on-site filming so intrigued him that he asked to return during Jamboree 2016, thinking he’d shift this product from featuring only our railroad to instead compiling a more complete look at Prairie Village, including our founding threshing show.

The filming took place, and Steve spent many subsequent months editing and producing this project, along with many others on his plate. Winter came and went, and the 2017 season rolled along. Then last week, Steve contacted me to advise that our DVD’s production was finished and ready for orders. He mailed a starter sample, which I viewed during a couple of brief evenings. It’s good stuff.

I am now placing our first order for this DVD, titled “Trains, Tractors, Threshers – A Celebration of Rural Life”. It is 98 minutes long and is pure Prairie Village – featuring the sights and sounds of both Railroad Days and Jamboree 2016. Particularly for those with a background and heart for the village, it’s definitely worth owning a copy. We aim to have a sample playing in the gift shop during Jamboree, where we intend to offer them for sale (retail price $25.00).

The DVD is organized by chapters, featuring segments on our railroad, steam threshing, machinery parades, plowing contest, stationary engines, horse threshing, tractor pulls, and more. The production opens with narration describing briefly the deep significance of farming and its heritage, followed by a seamless tie-in defending why preserving rural history is critical. From there, it’s all about how we do precisely that here at Prairie Village.

You’ll see great footage from these two major 2016 events, while hearing the unmistakable sounds of wonderful equipment busily bringing history to life on our grounds. Many of you will spot countless familiar faces, perhaps your own. It’s a compendium worth owning, and will make an ideal gift for family and friends who love and are invested in Prairie Village.

We look forward to seeing you at our 55th annual Steam Threshing Jamboree, just around the corner August 24-27. Plan to purchase your copies of this DVD while you’re here!