Ice cream social was sweet treat

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By Camille McClanahan

In a day when our world is topsy-turvy, it was nice to step back into a simpler time and enjoy an old fashioned ice cream social at the William Arnold Log Cabin in Williamstown on Sept. 16.

The event was a joint effort by the Williamstown Downtown Merchants Association and the Grant County Historical Society.

Having worked all day and gone directly to snap some photographs for the News, it didn’t take long for me to get hungry, smelling hotdogs on the grill.

“How much is it—where do I pay?” I asked Georgia Dalhberg, who was dressed in a flowing blue cape and lovely blue prairie dress.

“Nothing, it’s compliments of the Williamstown merchants and the historical society,” she answered graciously.

“Really,” I said.

Hot dogs, chips, drinks, cupcakes and for the grand finale—homemade vanilla ice cream. I was stunned.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I believe the Williamstown merchants have probably had a tough year. Not only have they had to deal with the nation’s overall depressed economy, but also the closure of the bridge on U.S. 25, which probably detoured business traffic from March  until just this month. The generous social was a nice way to announce—we’re still here and we’re open for business.

Members of the historical society created the ambiance of the 1800s with period costumes. A fire that crackled in the stone fireplace of the old cabin took the edge off the wisp of air, which was tinged with just a hint of fall. The cabin is an authentic and well-done museum and a reminder of the resourcefulness, craftsmanship and sacrifice of those who came before us.

While the space was compact—there was nothing small about the planning that must have gone into this affair.

There were hand-sewn quilts, a candle maker, a soap maker and a demonstration of split-bottom chair weaving. Music filled the air with the melodies of the Sweet Sounds dulcimer group and songs by the Williamstown Baptist Church choir. The young people and the young at heart were not left out—with Wes Cain and the praise band, from Christ’s Community Assembly of God Church, playing contemporary Christian rock music.

With the spirit of liberty, men like Captain William Arnold, the founder of Williamstown, fought in the Revolutionary War in order to “secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

Today, many issues have rung like a Big Ben alarm clock to awaken the silent majority: abortion has been legally defined as a woman’s right to privacy. Members of the Gideons organization have been pushed out of the schools to the far end of the sidewalk, in order to hand out Bibles. The Pledge of Allegiance has become uncool and you’re not allowed to pray in schools, unless a crazed maniac is shooting at the children. In some communities, it is against the rules to fly the American flag and our president failed to issue the traditional proclamation for Easter, but made a public address to the observers of Ramadan. Some states are suing the federal government and the federal government is suing some states. And who thought it was a good idea to borrow money from China in the first place?  I think the good captain would be astonished.

At a time like this, we need men and women to put integrity ahead of political ambitions and correct the course of our nation, so that we’ll always have places like Williamstown, Ky.  

Yes, recalling days gone by—even for just one evening—was a great escape. I would tip my coon skin cap to the Williamstown Downtown Merchants Association and the Grant County Historical Society—if I had one. I imagine that Captain Arnold would have said, “Well done.”

(Linda Lawrence is the editorial assistant for the Grant County News. She may be reached at gcneditorial@grantky.com or call 859-824-3343.)