Remembrance Day’s in demand
Brent and Faye Shaffer opened the old general store in New Amsterdam in 2000, and immediately Faye started thinking about have ‘a little festival’ there on the Ohio River. People thought she was crazy. After all, according to the 2000 Census, New Amsterdam had a population of zero. Everyone who lived in New Amsterdam was insulted. They knew that was incorrect. It was more like 32, and Faye knew she and Brent could put on a successful festival. A neighbor, Terry Sullivan, supported her. He said, ‘Don’t worry. With my tractors (he had 14) and your store, people will come and have fun and go tell everybody else.’
Faye said, ‘Apparently, it’s working.’ Now, people are calling her, asking her when the next festival will be.
On Saturday, a perfect, sun-splashed, cool spring day, hundreds of people, many of them natives of the old riverport town devastated by the 1937 flood, lined the main street for the 40-unit parade. It was narrated by Harrison County Councilman Carl (Buck) Mathes, a Corydon auctioneer and farmer who often provided historical facts about each tractor and antique car plus the recent family history of the driver.
Mulzer Crushed Stone, which has a 700-acre quarry down the River Road, was very cooperative in helping the Shaffers get ready for ‘Remembrance Day,’ not to mention support for the new Town Hall (the town’s first) up on the hill. Mulzer also provided one-hour tours of their quarry and sponsored one of the units in the parade, a golf cart that was modified to look like something the Flintstones would drive.
Faye estimated there were about 600 people at the first festival in 2001, and she thinks the crowd Saturday was bigger. She thanked everyone for coming and invited them in to have lunch there, check out the bake sale items, or look at old photos ‘ even make copies on their copying machine ‘ and then take a walking tour of the town with Joe Bliss or see the quarry by schoolbus. There were plenty of craft, antique and flea market booths to examine, too.
‘Is this not great?’ Faye asked in wonderment.