I took my mom and dad to the first ever Hewitt Barter Fest on Saturday, September 18. I thought it would be fun to take my parents to a small event nearby since they live eight miles up the road in Wadena.
Dad was born in Hewitt in 1921. I grew up west and north of Hewitt but the Hewitt post office continued to deliver letters to our rural route. Dad has emphysema and uses a walker because of a couple of bum knees. Mom, at 90, does pretty well but still has pain from a hip fracture eight years ago and an arm fracture earlier this year. It was a chilly day so we stayed only a short time. But we had a good time.
I bought some tulip bulbs from the local garden club. Though it was billed as a barter fest, good old fashioned cash worked, too. Other tables offered collectibles, books, clothing and junk. Later, a trailer of tires appeared. As the promotional material said, “You make the rules.” Socializing was as fun as bartering.
Planned as a “Free All-day Music, Art, Camping and Swap Festival,” the event was sponsored by the Hewitt Lions Club. “Bring your goods, talents & creations. Promote community, self-sufficiency and friendship.” Music seemed high on the list of activities for the day with more than a dozen performers scheduled to perform on the stadium-quality stage set up in from of the old community hall. The hall has been transformed into a private studio and gallery though admittance that day didn’t seem to be encouraged, lacking signage or obvious entry. Wooden bleachers were set up to accommodate music devotees and a booth offered food and beverages.
Mom, Dad and I don’t know if the music held people into the wee hours of the night since we moved on so quickly. We drove around town to check out the progress in transforming the old Hewitt school into a museum and then looked for the place where Dad was born. Then we headed south on Hwy.71 to visit the new Amish Country Co-op at Bertha. More on that next time.