Havre Daily News
Saturday's Hands On History event turned into a hands-across-the-mall event thanks to one of the demonstrators.
Havreite Daisy Sherman took a break from manning a demonstration table on bead work to perform an Indian “jingle dance” for the crowd at the Holiday Village Shopping Center. Sherman was joined on the stage by five young girls and one boy during the dance. She showed the children how to step in time with the music.
After the first dance, about 60 members of the crowd joined hands and participated in a “friendship dance” led by Sherman.
“The friendship dance was a good way to get people together,” 11-year-old Taylor Hobbs said.
Hands On History was a fundraising event for the H. Earl Clack Museum Foundation. It included about 50 displays and demonstrations on old-time ways of life, including throwing an atlatl, braiding leather and grinding wheat.
Hobbs joined Sherman on stage before the friendship dance. She said she wanted to dance so she could learn something new. She also thought Sherman was nice and liked her dress.
The first girl to take the stage, 10-year-old Peyton Filius, said it was a bit scary being the first. Filius said her friends urged her to take part because “they know I'll do stuff like that.”
“It was definitely hard to keep up with her,” Filius said of Sherman's quick movements. “It's hard to do.”
The lone boy on the stage, 8-year-old Gavin Hobbs, said he joined the girls because he simply “felt like dancing.”
The event brought in twice as much as last year's event, with $3,375 raised, treasurer Lynda Taplin said. The second annual event also offered about twice as many activities.
“Kids just had a ball,” Taplin said today.
She said she received numerous good comments from parents about the activities. She said parents liked the low cost of participating and said the event was something different for families to do.
About 100 volunteers and about 45 business and individual sponsors were involved in the event.
Anna Brumley, an organizer of the event, said she received nothing but positive comments from participants. “It's overwhelming the response we got from the community,” Brumley said today. “We had a blast putting it on.”
The event featured a number of presenters like Sherman, who said she started beading at the age of 35 when she became interested in learning how to dance. She said she couldn't afford to buy the beadwork for her dance outfits so she began doing the work herself. Sherman said she can sit and bead for 12 hours straight when she gets motivated.
At the event, Sherman, who was covered from head to toe in intricate bead work from the clips in her hair to the moccasins on her feet, showed people how to make a beaded bracelet. Sweety Rosette, a 10-year-old Box Elder fourth-grader, said she enjoyed the beading because it is part of her native culture.
Sherman's granddaughter, 12-year-old Makayla Castillo, said she likes to bead and made a headband last year.
“I'm too cheap of a grandma to buy it. I told her make your own,” Sherman said.
Brumley said the three most popular displays at the event were making ice cream, candling eggs and the “dino dig,” in which kids could excavate molds of actual dinosaur bones.
Grace Thomas of Havre said her favorite display at the event was the candling of chicken eggs and watching the chicks hatch.
As her son, 5-year-old James, and 4-year-old daughter, Malia, panned for gold, she looked on and said, “They've wanted to do this all day.”
John Park, who owns a gold mine near Lewistown and was dressed in full miner garb, showed kids how to pan for gold. Park also donated five gold nuggets, which were won by children in a drawing.
James Thomas said he wanted to pan because he had never done anything like it before, and he wanted to play in the water.
Malia Thomas said she still had fun panning, even though she didn't strike any gold. By the time she had dried her hands, she was already thinking of her next endeavor - making a sock puppet. She said she wanted to make a dog.
Her brother also was excited for his next activity. His eyes lit up when he announced what he wanted to do next - shoot the cannon.
A Civil War cannon was on display at the event. Participants could load, pack and shoot the weapon. No cannonball was involved.
Ray Cambron, 81, who learned how to operate a telegraph during his years with the railroad, had a display where people could send a message from one part of the mall to another through two telegraph machines.
Cambron is part of the Big Sky Chapter of the Morse Telegraph Club. He travels to schools around the state demonstrating the use of telegraph. He said he usually sticks to young children because older kids are too involved with computers to be interested in the telegraph.
Jacob Ulmen, 14, used the telegraphs to send a message to his older brother, 16-year-old Ryan, that read “You owe me money.”
Eighth-grader Jacob Ulmen said he liked the telegraph display but was sure the message sent would not make his brother pay up. He said he would like to use a telegraph because it seemed easier to use than a computer and doesn't require any downloading time.
Ryan Ulmen, a Havre High School sophomore, said he would not give up his computer to use a telegraph machine because he is too much of a “techno-freak.”
Cambron said the telegraph helped to pave the way for today's technology.
“I call these ‘yesterday's e-mail,'” he added.
Another demonstration allowed children to churn their own butter with an old-fashioned wooden butter churn.
Lincoln-McKinley Primary School second-grader Raine Stoner said she liked the taste of the butter. Children were given homemade rolls to spread their butter on and sample their work.
She said her favorite activity at the event was washing clothes with a bar of soap and a wash board in a big metal tub.
Brumley said the event's organizers are looking for representation of different ethnicities in the demonstrations.
One new display this year was a station where children could make pinatas.
Caty Sloan and her sister Lorena Wiley both of Havre grew up making pinatas for every birthday and special occasion. They were encourage to participate in this weekend's event by a friend who told them they should join in and show off their Mexican heritage.
Wiley said the pinatas were a hit.
“Kids know that if there is something you can decorate and stick candy in, it's a pretty cool thing,” she said.
Hands on History organizers said they hope to have another event next year. Brumley said they have already lined up three new activities.