SQUEEZING APPLES INTO CIDER
October 07, 2003 11:00 pm
Dave Freeman pours freshly-squeezed cider into bucket. (PHOTOS BY LYNN DAVIS).
Dave Freeman pours freshly-squeezed cider into bucket. (PHOTOS BY LYNN DAVIS).

Visitors flocked to the Chetco Valley Historical Museum for the society's sixth annual "Cider Sunday" celebration.

In addition to a bake sale, raffles, apple pie baking and coloring contests, the hands-on history lesson wouldn't have been complete without a tour of the museum and a turn pressing apples for cider, just as they did in the "olden days."

All the folks got a kick out of churning the apples, using Archie and Doris McVay's century-old cider press, Glen Garvin's electric press, or Roy Hendricks' hand-operated machine.

Brookings resident Maggie Ohlhausen enjoyed the afternoon with daughter, Liann Cooper, and 4-year-old granddaughter, Jane, visiting from Los Angeles.

"I think it's really nice," Ohlhausen said. "I've never been to one before."

Cooper added, "It's very laid back. We go to a lot of festivals in L.A., but you can never find a place to park, they're not ‘user-friendly' and usually very loud."

"Its great!" remarked festival patron Marrian Petrucelli. "It's the first time we have seen this." She was joined by her husband Dom and mother Naomi Cook, as well as by a small troop of Boy Scouts.

Brookings-Harbor Key Club President Melissa Chen, and Vice President Kati Beyer, painted faces in trade for donations to the museum, and local guitarists Danny Cockrum and Ken Upchurch filled the air with music. Vicki Boardman, event co-organizer with her sister, Mable, was also on site, preparing her home-made apple fritters.

Judges for the apple pie baking contest were Dave Freeman, Mary Jo Delaney, Ron Gable and Steve Braun.

Braun was happy to oblige when asked to judge the contest. "Usually, you have to wait to go to heaven to experience something like this." he said, sitting in front of a dozen home-made apple pies that were his for the tasting.

Braun believed the festival served a bigger purpose than just having a good time. It is important for children to see how hard people had to work in the past for things that are often taken for granted now, he said.

"They go to the store and see it on the shelf. They don't have a clue where it comes from," he said.

His 12-year-old daughter, Sarah, said the best part about the day was watching the presses make the cider.

Her sister, 6-year-old Jenna, replied, "My dad," when asked what she enjoyed most about the festival.

Sarah added, "They probably picked my dad to be a judge because that's his favorite pie."

Gable was also thrilled to judge the apple pie baking contest. He said, "I love pies. This was kind of like the rabbit being thrown into the briar patch."

Just as the judging was about to come to an end, Braun decided he hadn't quite had enough of the tasty pastries.

"Are you coming back for seconds?" quipped Delaney, as Braun began cutting himself another slice.

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