By RENEE FITE
A Tailholt Family Fun Fest and Dad’s Day Out brought dozens of people to the Caney Community Center Saturday to celebrate fathers and their community.
Friends visited outside and had the opportunity to shop at yard sale vendors, watch kids at a petting zoo, or admire vehicles from the past. Inside the Caney Community Center, more yard sale booths were selling their wares, and food was available.
Two tables and several boxes of glassware, household items, and clothing for sale were spread out in front of Tammie Weese. She was hoping all would be sold so she wouldn’t have to pack it back up.
“It’s been a good day so far, and I like the event; it gives people a chance to get out and help the community,” Weese said.
All the proceeds will help the community center.
Weese grew up in Tailholt and now works in the Caney community.
“I’m enjoying seeing all the people I knew growing up,” she said.
Bryan and Gayle Johnson brought their granddaughter, Ashlee Johnson, from the Eldon community, to visit with friends and see what the event had to offer. They did a little shopping for Ashlee, who was holding tightly to a Tinkerbell box. “She has a sleeping blanket and flashlight in the box,” Gayle Johnson said.
They also enjoyed the petting zoo, Johnson said, “with two turtles, a snake you could pet, and a chinchilla.”
Bryan Johnson came for the car show and to see some of his friends. He stood next to a ‘57 Chevrolet and had a chat with Luther Taylor, the car’s owner.
“I know a lot of folks from here, and I enjoyed the car show,” Bryan Johnson said.
Gordon Clinton lives up the road from the event and wanted to see what was going on.
“I came to see the cars, the yard sales and talk to my neighbors. Usually on a day like this, you can see folks,” Clinton said.
Taylor, a member of the Cherokee Cruisin’ Classics Car Club, brought two of his five classic cars for the show: a ’29 Model A and ‘66 Mustang. “It’s always a good day to show your car,” Taylor said. “I won a trophy on each of my cars.”
For the next event, he plans to include a ‘49 model Crosley truck that wasn’t quite ready.
“I just painted it,” he said. “My dad had one, they were sold through Sears. When I was 13, I’d drive it to Caney School and take my sister.”
The event is good for kids, Taylor said, and he’s happy to support the community by bringing his cars.
“We’ll be back next year, and bring more cars,” he said.
In the show was the first car owned by Clint Adams, of Bunch, who said he’s had it since he was 15.
“It was originally salmon pink, but I didn’t want to be associated with driving grandma’s car,” Adams said.
He keeps the car in tip-top shape, and repainted it Sierra gold, a brown tone.
Taylor said communities like Fort Gibson and Oaks were having car shows at the same time, and Tulsa was hosting a big car event.
“I come and eat at this community center all the time, so I’m helping out here,” Taylor said. “Usually you don’t see this many kids at a car show, so it gives them an opportunity to see the cars.”
If the Cherokee Nation is able to pave at least part of the nearby road – perhaps to the Caney Cemetery – Taylor said he could give car rides to children next year.
“I don’t like to drive [my classic cars] on dirt roads,” he said. “And it’s only half a mile to Adair County from the cemetery.”
Brenda Coles enjoyed talking to people and seeing them enjoy talking to each other.
“It’s a good family day. The weather’s been good, with a breeze off and on and sun off and on,” Coles said.
Her daughter, Marsha Coles, is one of the organizers of the inaugural event.
Tailholt Community Organization President Marsha Coles said the event went well, but it will be moved to a different weekend next year.
“We’ve had a steady stream of people, and the guys sure did like the cars,” she said. “The car show people and zoo people have already asked about next year. The petting zoo provided by the Locust Grove Safari was popular with the kids. It had turtles from South Africa.”
Her daughter, 11-year-old Raelea Coles, likes, “everything” about the event, especially shopping. She was trying to help a friend find good homes for her kittens.
Her purchases included computer games, a little piano, a puzzle and board games.
“I petted the turtle, and a lizard and the chinchilla was cute,” Raelea said. “And I liked helping my mom put up signs before it started, at 6 a.m.”
Drawings were held for many items inside the community center, including purple buckets filled with car-care products for the car show participants and some of the dads. George Sanders, who had gone fishing, won the top prize.
Mara Webb, who was volunteering and manning two booths for friends, said she likes seeing the community working together for a common cause.
“The cars, the zoo, kids and dads activities – everyone is having fun. The kids are loving running around and seeing the cars and the animals,” Webb said.
What she doesn’t sell from her booth will be donated to Encore, Webb said, after a few select items are put back to be prizes for their monthly bingo games. “All of our activities are fundraisers,” she said. “We do serve senior nutrition lunches on Monday, Wednesday and Friday here.”
Webb was pleased to share how the community center was built “strictly by volunteers.”
“We held dinners at area churches to raise money and the men helped build the building,” she said.