Saturday, September 23, was warm, a perfect end of summer day as we all wait for the cooler autumn weather to creep in. The sky was clear and blue, and folks gathered at Mount Olive Baptist Church for “Down Home Day” and the 144th Church Anniversary and Homecoming Celebration. Down one side, in the shade of the trees, was the “Commodity Sale”; a dozen people gathered around tables lined with canned fruits and vegetables, not to mention the boxes and crates of fresh sweet potatoes, white potatoes, onions, squash, corn, tomatoes, and other vegetables, fresh fruit such as apples, pears, melons, and other fruit which were all for sale, and according to Phyllis D. Nickens, “per price of old Down Home price back in the day.” Baked goods, fresh and frozen fish were also available for purchase. Across the asphalt was the “brush arbor,” which according to Nickens was “where they worshiped before they were allowed to make their own churches.”
A white pavilion dominated the parking lot, with long line of white linen covered tables underneath. Decorations of autumn colored flowers, miniature pumpkins and squash dotted the table. Sylvia D. Carter sported an outfit that fit the theme, resplendent in her historical period apron and skirt. To one side, in the grass, were tables covered with artifacts and tools from bygone eras. Beside them sat a push tiller and a handmade sawhorse. Each item had been lent or donated by church members to share the history of their area and family with others.
Pick up a copy of the September 27 edition of the Northumberland Echo to read the full story