Old Timers event celebrates early settlers

They gather to remember towns that once dotted northern Curry County and the families who founded them.

The 73rd Northern Curry County Old Timers Day will take place Sunday in Broadview.

The event is a celebration of families who homesteaded in northern Curry County and formed towns such as Bellview, Hollene, Grady and Broadview. Many of the small towns have faded away, which enhances the importance of the event, according to event organizer Mike Trower.

“It’s a fun time,” he said. “It’s a heritage we don’t want to lose. This is important for the history of the county.”

Trower said the event is centered around old timers spending time together after years apart and sharing their stories.

“Some of their stories will have you laughing so hard and some make you cry because you knew the people in the story, and they’re gone now,” Trower said.

Each year, members of the Northern Curry County Old Timers who have died are recognized along with veterans. The group of about 60 gather for a potluck lunch, ice cream social and musical entertainment.

Trower said organizers are always looking for younger generations to attend the event. He said the event can only continue if a new generation takes over.

“It’s going to die out. Descendants could carry it on for a long time,” Trower said.

Avon and Dick Krouskop of Grady have attended the event for as long as Avon can remember.

“We have a potluck dinner and visit and then we have a program with a lot of music,” she said. “It’s mostly just to get together with old friends and see old faces.”

Attendees have been known to return to the area from as far as California and Arkansas to attend the event, she said.

Ada Fitzgerald of Clovis has been named the oldest woman in attendance for the last 15 years. At 97, she continues to play dominoes on Mondays, go out for breakfast Thursdays and Sunday. She plans to make it to Old Timers Day.

“I just love it, because I see people I haven’t seen for years,” said Fitzgerald, whos family homesteaded in Bellview in 1907. “There’s not very many of them left that I grew up with. It’s an important occasion.”

The event began in 1937 as a birthday club. Members would gather quarterly for a time of fellowship and birthday celebration. Entertainment has been provided by members and friends since its inception.