After a chat with John Mills last week, I can report that planning for the Hermann Jaeger Festival is under way and things look good. The festival will run for 10 days —from April 26 to May 5 — so there will be ample opportunity for everyone to attend at least some of the festivities.
The Neosho Arts Council is the main sponsor and many events will center around artists, with workshops, contests, demonstrations, shows and sales. Activities will include art projects for children and adults. So if you, your children or grandchildren or anyone you know is artistic, start planning now to be involved.
There will also be dances, dinners, and music. So keep these dates in mind, and note when things you are interested in are planned then put a date or two on your calendar. That magnificent display about Jaeger will be up almost the entire time of the festival. If you haven’t seen it, I really hope you will take advantage of the opportunity. It rivals any display in any museum. A lot of thought, talent, brains and money made it possible.
John Mills and the Arts Council are open to suggestions for the festival. Individuals and service clubs are invited to suggest ideas and even participate with an event that could be used as a fundraiser. Just get in touch with John with your ideas.
Speaking of Hermann Jaeger, there is some very good news. I received a call from John Smerdon, who lives on the Jaeger farm, and he said the wine press that was owned by Hermann and John Jaeger is being rebuilt to working condition. Perhaps it will be included in this year’s Jaeger museum display. Also, Mr. Smerdon said that some original “Jaeger 90” grapes had been found at the University of California at Davis. Until recently it was though that no “Jaeger 90s” existed in America. This was the “grape of gold” that was developed by Hermann Jaeger, and is the base for many of the great wines in the world. You will be hearing more about this later on, I am sure.
After the centennial celebration at Newtonia this past fall, a series of photographs taken at the festival has been put on a CD. These breathtaking photographs, shot by Jerry Rampp, a professional photographer from Iowa, are being reset to hopefully be used as a fundraiser for the battlefield group. Redoing the CD required new music and that is being provided by Jack and Lee Ann Sours, Nathan McAlister and other period musicians. I haven’t heard it yet, but I’m sure the music will be a good match to Rempp’s wonderful photographs. With these special pictures and this special music, I have no doubt we will sell all the CDs we can make. Be sure and get one because you will love it, and it will help a good cause.
Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.