By Naomi Hatch
Taylor-Shumway Heritage Foundation President Carmen Shumway opened the foundation’s annual fund-raiser dinner Oct. 27 by recalling that Mayor Fay Hatch once told her that his goal is to have everyone to feel welcome in Taylor.
The successful annual dinner followed the theme of Arizona’s Centennial.
In the first years the Snowflake Academy Building offered a high school education to everyone in eastern Arizona, Shumway noted as she welcomed a table seating members of the Snowflake Academy Foundation.
The foundation got its start originally as part of the Snowflake Heritage Foundation. Shumway began her career in heritage in 1998 with Snowflake residents, then she and other Taylor residents began working with Taylor heritage. “We work so well together,” said Shumway as she acknowledged a table of members of the Snowflake Heritage Foundation supporting the event.
Dinner music was provided by Tawna Posegate and David Peterson, and everyone enjoyed the dinner.
Following dinner, Lenn Shumway introduced himself as Carmen’s chauffer, then shared his humor as master of ceremonies for the evening.
He noted that when Congress was debating Arizona statehood, one delegate commented that all Arizona needs is water and some good people. Shumway then said that Taylor has water and plenty of good people.
He explained that prospecting played an important part in Arizona’s history, as did copper, which remains an important industry along with cotton and cattle.
A slide show featured the beauty of Arizona, including pictures of Taylor and Shumway as I Love You Arizona was played as background music by Posegate and Peterson.
Shumway told the crowd of the long route required for a trip to the Valley from Taylor in 1912, and said the entertainment back then was a community dance with music furnished by a fiddle, a guitar and maybe a piano. He noted that a man named Fred Baca would come to the dances and dance by himself. It was so unique that one of Shumway’s uncles tried to imitate Baca’s style and it became a tradition in the Shumway family. Then he demonstrated the dance as Posegate and Peterson played, noting he was not in the proper attire of Levis, boots and maybe a cigarette dangling from his lips.
One of the most important pieces of apparel was the ladies’ apron, and so a demonstration of the many uses of an apron was given by Carol Palmer and Cheryl Tenney. “It will be a long time before someone in-vents something like the apron,” said Shumway.
The program concluded with the quartet of Mike and Taylor Cole, Austin Webster and Lance Merrell singing the Arizona state song, Arizona.
“Navajo County lists a little about every library,” said Carmen Shumway as she encouraged everyone to take an opportunity to visit and get acquainted with Navajo County.
She also encouraged anyone interested in heritage to participate in projects, such as letting the foundation scan any old pictures related to Taylor, to share family histories that relate to longtime Taylor citizens or important events in Taylor, to serve occasionally as a tour guide at one of the sites, to help video a senior citizen who has contributed to the community and to participate in sharing the history of Taylor in the spring when they present a different theme to each grade of school children. If you have a suggestion of someone who could be featured in a display at the museum, please contact the foundation.
For more information or to offer your services, visit the Taylor Museum located at Main Street and Center Street or call at 536-6649.
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By Naomi Hatch