There was a time when neighbors were more than friends and whole communities relied on the skills and trades practiced by their fellow citizens.
Laws Railroad Museum is bringing that era back – if for but a few short hours.
Laws’ annual Good Ole Days festival is returning to the museum this Saturday. The free event features live music, kids games, great food and the ever popular pie auction in addition to dozens of demonstrations by local volunteers who have kept tradition alive by maintaining skills of days gone by.
This year residents will have an opportunity to witness weavers, quilters, soap makers, live music and much more from the days of yore.
Good Ole Days is a celebration of history and community, with dozens of volunteers dressing in vintage garb picking away at their guitars, and showing the layman how people got by with what they had in a time before huge corporations, computers and global advertising.
According to event organizer Susan Cullen, as the craftsmen and craftswomen demonstrate their unique and often forgotten trade, they will be available to answer questions and teach citizens about how and why their particular skill was used in the good ole days.
“We’re bringing out all kinds of demonstrators,” Cullen said. “We have a Dutch Oven demonstration, some old tractors coming from Carson City, the Forest Service will be there with a demonstration of their cross-cut saw and, of course, the Bishop Volunteer Fire Department comes each year and does something for the kids.”
In past years, the volunteer fire department has hosted a bucket brigade contest that got youngsters involved. Last year firefighters hooked up a hose and let the youngsters spray the grounds at Laws.
Cullen said she wasn’t sure what the fire department had planned for this weekend, “but they always do something fun,” she said.
The fire department generally kicks off their display around the time Bishop City Councilmember Jeff Griffiths starts the Kids Games at 1 p.m. Griffiths always has a slew of old-time activities, from water balloon tosses to sack races, and prizes for all participants.
The museum also has a couple new features it wants to show off at this year’s event.
According to Cullen, a dedication of the new Silver Canyon Saloon exhibit and the museum’s Memorial Pathway will be held at 11:30 a.m.
Cullen also said that the museum is looking for a volunteer to serve beverages at the saloon during the event.
Also new this year will be two book signings: Kathleen Haun, signing copies of her book, “Moving On,” and Judith Butler signing her book, “Miss Minnie & More Forgotten Women of the West.” Both books tell historical stories of the Good Ole Days of the Old West and have particular relevance to Inyo County and Laws, Cullen said.
There are also a handful of volunteers who have baked more than 45 homemade pies that will be auctioned off at 4 p.m.
According to Cullen, the pie auction has become a Good Ole Days tradition for many, as all proceeds go to the museum.
But Good Ole Days is about more than the work that went in to the days of yore. Taking the stage in front of the depot at 1 p.m. will be the Peavine Pickers, a country-western ensemble that plays classic western hits.
“Good Ole Days is old-fashioned fun,” Cullen said. “We welcome picnickers, or you can go to our community food booths. Picnickers are welcome, and period costumes are encouraged,” she said.”