May 1984 — A Great Picnic with a Hayride!

by Gudrun Hutchins

From 1981 to 1985, our branch president was Marguerite Lyons, a temporary transplant from California. At a program meeting, Marguerite mentioned that she had never been on a hayride; nearly half of our branch members admitted that we had not had that experience either. So everyone decided that we had to correct that missed opportunity.

One of our members at the time was Marion Fowler, an English teacher, but also a traditional dairy farmer’s wife. Bob and Marion’s dairy farm was located in Pownal and it was decided that this was going to be the site of the branch spring picnic. Bob Fowler agreed to hook a hay wagon onto his tractor and transport us from Fairdale Farms (about a mile west on Route 9) down Mt. Anthony Road to the “Fowler Ranch.”

In the newsletter (edited by Gudrun), members were advised to meet at Fairdale Farms at 11:15 and leave their car there. We were asked to bring a boxed lunch packaged in some interesting, pretty, or zany fashion. The lunches were going to be judged and auctioned off (top bid $2), so bring some dollars or we would go hungry.

It was a glorious sunny day and the AAUW group sang whatever camp songs we could remember as we rode down Mt. Anthony Road on the hay wagon. At the Fowler Ranch, we sat on hay bales on the patio while eating our lunches wrapped in unique and spectacular containers – every single one went for the top bid of $2. We drank various interesting concoctions prepared by the hostesses who lived in Pownal and then we elected our officers for the following year. We obviously had to have another hayride to get back to our parked cars, and Bob Fowler obliged. He also told us that we were the zaniest bunch whom he had had the pleasure to transport, but we sang better than most.


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