When I see one of Jewell Johnson’s sons, I ask about Jewell, so far I get a cautiously positive answer that she is doing pretty well. Like most people in their nineties, Jewell, can not do the things that she used to do. She is blessed with a good family, who have been able to keep her at home. Regardless of whether a person stays at home or moves to an assisted living place or a nursing home, it is the family support that makes the difference.
Cliff and Debra Bohnstedt stopped by the home of her mother, Norma Stillings, Saturday morning on the way to the “Stillings Molasses Making” out at Tony and Linda Stillings. Dan Stillings also joined a lot of cousins and friends that enjoyed a beautiful day there. Linda Stillings said that there may have been eight hundred people there. Debra said that there were more cars there than she had seen there before with people coming and going all the time.
There were crafters showing and selling homemade lye soap, honey, jellies, apple butter, needle work, etc. There were demonstrations by a blacksmith and wheelwrights showing that the once common occupations have not been forgotten. Still others were showing food being prepared in the cast iron “Dutch ovens.” There were musicians playing and singing at more than one location. Bikers Against Child Abuse were there again this year to show their support for the safety of all our children.
And the food was plentiful and good. Tony and Linda had provided pulled pork and hot dogs on buns and those attending had brought bags, bowls, baskets, and pans of other food items. Debra said that there were three tables full of desert and another table full of salads.
For all of that, the big moment came when the sorghum molasses was finished and the hot biscuits came out of the deep-fat fryers. This has turned out to be a good year for sorghum, if the sample we got is any indication. Things had not really looked very promising when it looked like it was not going to rain, until near the end of the season. Everyone that reported on the day said that there had never been a more beautiful day for molasses making and visiting with friends.
I missed the whole thing, because of allergies that brought on respiratory problems. When you are coughing and sniffling you don’t make good company. Dan brought home pictures and everybody that went had a good report.