Entertainment, Living History and shopping highlighted Gathering

GREENVILLE – Want something unique? Or a Living History demonstration? Then there was pottery, plants and a wide variety of foods and snacks, from New Madison Kiwanis sausages to homemade pies and fresh roasted kettle corn.

For those longing for the Beatles sounds of the 60s, there was Cavern Beat; plus varieties of music and entertainment, such as Green De Villes, Surrendering Dorothy, Snake Oil Medicine Man and more. Learn about the history of Darke County and the West from Native Americans and historic re-enactors such as Daniel Boone. You could even support scholarships for local teens by purchasing a Paul Ackley cartoon at The Early Bird/Blue Bag Media tent.

It all took place July 26 and 27 at The Gathering at Garst.

Or you can just shop. Abby Thomas of Greenville, and her two daughters Emily and Riley, were there to enjoy “a little time with the family.” She added the shopping part was a plus. Her favorite place? “Any flower booth.”

A young man playing ‘what looked like a guitar but really wasn’t’ stopped passers-by as he corded tunes, steel guitar style, on strange looking instruments. Chuck Raby, Pitsburg, is an Iraq war veteran putting some of his talents to use building electronic musical gadgets, from a Monte Cristo Cigar Box (6-string electric) to a Canjo (banjo with a tin can), a Cigar Box Dulcimer and more.

“I pulled this out of a trash can,” he said as he bent down to plug in an amp that looked suspiciously military in origin. He confirmed it was a discarded piece of military equipment… “I’d use it more often except it has a tendency to overheat.”

Raby offers his creations for sale – ranging from $125 to $450 – but also offers to help anyone wishing to build their own. He can be reached on Facebook at Chuck’s Cigar Box Guitars.

“I still don’t know how to play these things,” he said. “I can’t wait for Bill Light to come in.”

A few tents away a cowbell was rung, followed by the announcement, “Ma & Pa’s Kettle Corn! New batch… fresh kettle corn! Come and get it!” Shortly after that a cannon was fired from the Living History Encampment across the road.

Local historian John Burkett seems to be a different person every time he appears in public; he has been heard to say he sometimes has trouble deciding who he is one day to the next. On Saturday he knew exactly who he was… “A naturalist,” he said. “I work with famous people out of the past.” Personally? “Personally.”

In the center of the Bowery, Cone Mindegap (Chief Snow Owl of the East River Shawnee) was having a discussion with associates when he was kind enough to stop his meeting and explain he was from Urbana. He commented a lot of history took place “here in Darke County but there is still a tremendous amount of history in Champagne County (as well as all of Ohio).”

He said “I was trying to settle a dispute in my head between various authors (regarding the location of an historic place in Champagne County)… I found out where it was. It was almost right on the spot where I was standing.”

Chief Snow Owl returned to his discussion, oblivious to the dozens of people sitting around the Bowery watching them… or just resting their feet.

Gathering at Garst visitors share thoughts and discussions with a Native American from the Living History Encampment. (Bob Robinson photo)

Historic re-enactors at the Living History Encampment talk with a visitor about the role the cannon played in battle. (Bob Robinson photo)


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