For almost two years we have lived in a time marked by the loss of normal. We have been confined to our homes, we have kept our distance from people, we have worn masks, we have used hand sanitizer, and we have lived in fear. The virus scare changed our lives. We lost much, but we gained much and we realized that life on this earth is but a moment. But let’s come together for the 10th Annual Panhandle Community Day and strive for normal. Since COVID is still a very real concern for all of us, be sure to wear your mask, and, as much as possible, practice social distancing.
The Panhandle Community Center was formerly the Panhandle Consolidated School Building. The building contract was to Jody Moorehead and bonds purchased and financed by Hugh Pierce of Beat 3 Choctaw County in 1929 (4 rooms, lobby and auditorium).
Panhandle Consolidated School opened in the fall of 1929 and closed in 1956.
Order by county school board giving authority to trustees to use and maintain building and grounds as a community center on September 14, 1957.
The school property was sold to the board of trustees by order of the Board of Education of Choctaw County on January 2, 1968. The deed was recorded.
In 1972 major repairs were necessary and by community effort four classrooms were removed and the lobby and auditorium restored.
In May 1989 the community joined in a project to do repairs. There were donations of cash, materials, cabinets, appliances and labor. The building now had community water, a sewage system, and inspected and updated electricity. A bathroom had been added, a complete kitchen, windows repaired, floors sanded and stained, repairs made on the outside, and painted inside and out.
Three years ago, the Dixie Pan Club of Choctaw County took on the daunting task of refurbishing the building. With the help of many people, the club was able to raise enough money to paint inside and out, as well as, the roof. The windows were scraped and washed, the electricity was upgraded, new appliances were added, a porch was added, the bathroom was completely rebuilt, new heating and cooling was added, and much-needed general maintenance was completed.
Some of our most precious possessions are the memories of places and people, but they fade with time unless we renew and revisit them. If you have history that includes a God-gifted place called Panhandle, it is time to renew those memories and visit with some of the folks that helped shape them.
On Saturday, October 16, from 8:00-2:00, the Panhandle Community of Choctaw County will host the 10th annual Panhandle Community Day. Held in the historic Panhandle Consolidated School building, the craft fair will feature local talent in many forms, and, of course, food. A hamburger plate will be available for $6.00.
Two years ago a group of women from the Panhandle Community began taking a local pottery class. This group has become known as the Panhandle Potters. If you haven’t met the Panhandle Potters, attend Panhandle Community Day and meet them and see examples of their work.
Panhandle is rich in talent, hospitality, and wonderful people who love nothing better than to engage in fellowship with friends and neighbors. Be sure to join us on this wonderful occasion. Check out the talent provided by local artisans, fellowship with friends and neighbors, do some early Christmas shopping, and enjoy the atmosphere created by a historic building filled with people who love each other. See you Saturday, October 16.
No craft fair is complete without door prizes. Register to win when you enter the building. Drawing for door prizes will be held hourly.
If you are interested in having a booth at the event, please contact Brenda Cagle at 552-0881. Vendor fees go to the upkeep of the Panhandle Community Center.
Submitted by Marie Gordon