To the editor:
I enjoyed Adam Stewart’s piece on “Revitalized Old Settlers’ Day.” In my opinion, the thing that revitalized OSD was setting a date certain for the celebration.
When I came to Marion in 1963, the date for OSD was usually set by June of that year depending on the football schedule, farm work, etc. It was either a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday — not necessarily on Saturday like it is today.
In 1966, I was president of Kiwanis, and people from out of town or state, who might possibly want to come back for the celebration, called me to ask the date. If they were to come back, they would have to make arrangements for work, family, etc. I had to tell them that we had not set a date yet.
I thought not having a date set was kind of silly. We all know when Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day are, why not Old Settlers’ Day?
So in the wisdom and power of the presidency of Kiwanis, I decreed that the last Saturday in September henceforth will be Old Settlers’ Day. The board agreed, and it was adopted.
Since the certain date was set, OSD and the class reunions have both flourished. Before that certain date was set, there were no class reunions on OSD.
So I believe the thing that made Old Settlers’ Day and the class reunions a growing success was setting it on a certain day. Now all graduates and old settlers can prepare in advance for the celebration.
Matthew Classen, Marion