By 8 AM we were ready to check out and grab the complimentary breakfast. HA! that was a closet with a coffee maker and a toaster for the pop tarts. We chose to go for the donuts and coffee as promised at the BAM meeting. The morning was cloudy and cold with a bit of wind thrown in at times, later the showers came.
The statewide bi-monthly meeting of the Blacksmith’s Association of Missouri (BAM) was held at the Tom Kennon Blacksmith Shop at the Pioneer Heritage Homestead in downtown Doniphan on March 15th. Over 30 members from all over the State attended the day long session hosted by the local blacksmith user group sponsored by the Doniphan Neighborhood Assistance Program (DNAP). Local BAM members, Chris Miller and Dennis Morhmann, organized the event and prepared the shop for the meeting. Early risers started showing up around 7:30 a.m. as coffee and donuts were set up and the shop forge fired up. Ray Joe Hastings of Doniphan, Missouri, was the principal demonstrator for the meeting giving a demonstration on the forging of fishing gigs starting at 9:00 a.m.. An lifelong outdoors man and craftsman, Ray Joe has just authored a new book on the subject of fishing gigs and john boats and his expertise in the art of hand forging fishing gigs using traditional black smithing techniques was well received by the BAM members attending the meeting.*
The meeting broke for lunch and we walked one block to the The Community Center just North of the Shop . It was a catered lunch of pulled pork, baked beans, slaw and homemade chocolate cookies. A brief business meeting followed with Kirk Sullens talking in a whisper due to laryngitis. Thank goodness for a microphone and a bunch of guys that sat very quietly. After the meeting was adjourned the iron in the hat drawing was made. For those of you that don't know what that is, members donate items and you can buy tickets to win them. Bernie wanted a small vise and put the majority of his tickets in that cup. Kirk was the lucky winner and graciously handed it over to Bernie. Thanks Kirk! Then Ray Joe, drew for the winner of his hand made gig. Bernie was the lucky winner and a very happy recipient.
The group was then given the opportunity to tour the Current River Heritage Museum. Ray Joe had his large collection of gigs in a case along the back wall. The museum was very well stocked with items from the town's history. I even found a doll identical to the one I receive for Christmas when I was 5 years old.
We said our goodbyes and were on the road before 2:30.
Before leaving town we stopped for fuel at $3.09 a gallon. We drove until Salem and then we stopped at McDonald's for a break and an iced coffee. Our last stop of the afternoon was in Rolla for a burger. The town was full of GREEN. It seems we had just missed the St Patrick's Parade. All the employees at the burger shop we decked out to the 9's in green clothes, beads, stickers, even funny hats.
As we drove up Bentley was barking, someone was glad to see us.
After playing with the dog and let him out for a stretch, we unloaded the car and headed for the recliners. Bedtime came early.