Relics of past on display at fair

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Betty Hunter of Jal looks at a glass jar from the Curry County Fair’s Antique Showcase. The showcase opens at 4:30 p.m. at the indoor pavilion.

Kevin Wilson

Some wood, some glass, some metal and some a combination of the preceding. And each has its own story.

All told, there are nearly 1,000 stories on display in a small kitchen area at the Curry County Fair. Organizers talk about how they point to a simpler time, and are optimistic they point ahead to a High Plains museum over the next few years.

The antiques are on display each day in the indoor pavilion as part of the 91st annual fair, held through Saturday at the Curry County Fairgrounds.

All told, antique showcase organizer Wilma Fulgham said, there were about 1,000 items donated — some from the local train society, and some from Grady farmer and collector Jim Wood.

There were so many donations, there was an overflow that went into the agriculture building about 40 feet away.

“It filled in the gaps,” Fulgham said. “The display (in the ag building) looks really nice.”

Some of the equipment is completely recognizable, such as a car jack that looks like it could be used in a garage tomorrow morning.

Other items aren’t as recognizable, such as the 1925 washer called the “Easy Model” that resembles a garbage can with instruments on top.

“Not the easiest thing,” Fulgham said, while noting it was still easier than using a washboard or a tub and metal plunger combo — both of which were also on display.

The items were enough to pass the time for Kenneth and Betty Hunter. The two came from Jal to watch their grandchildren show animals, but had a virtual checklist when they went through the room.

“We had a farm,” said Kenneth Hunter, who moved to the Jal area in 1956, “and all of these tools were there.”

Betty also enjoyed the cutout of Gene Autry, which reminded her of Saturdays when they’d go to the movies, and some of the glass jars.

One of the jars, Kenneth said, had a purple tint which shows the glass was created before 1920, because that’s when glass started to come without the magnesium that turned glass purple after a long exposure to sunlight.

Fulgham said the goal is to get those antiques and others into a High Plains museum. She said the county commission is receptive to the idea, but has to put it on the shelf due to higher budget priorities.