By Errol Castens/Daily Journal Oxford Bureau
OXFORD – “Fun in the Country” was a self-fulfilling prophecy Monday at Greystone Farm.
A fundraiser for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church that also included several local charities, the event was a mix of arts and crafts, carnival games and farm tour with smidgens of literature, local history and civics lessons added in.
“When the economic downturn occurred in 2009, the ministries were suffering, so Lynn Wells thought of doing this. They did the first one in 2010, and this is our second one,” said Pati Herndon, this year’s chairwoman. “Interfaith Compassion Ministries, Leapfrog, Honduras Medical Mission, the Oxford Medical Ministry and the Pantry are participating, and I’m happy to say someone from all those organizations is actually present here today.”
Herndon said the first Fun in the Country drew about 2,000 people, and she was hoping 3,000 would brave the heat for it Monday.
The fun began for most visitors with a hayride from the parking area and continued with carnival games, bounce houses, and crafts from jewelry to scrap-iron animal sculptures.
“Our favorite was the teddy bear booth, because I have four kids,” said Carolyn Murphy.
Several local authors offered their books, including Katherine and Margaret King with “Y’all Twins?” and Carolyn Carter with her tale of survival, “One More Heartbeat.” Peggy Lamb’s prayer book – “A Month of Sundays and Then Some” – was on sale to benefit Interfaith Compassion Ministries, and a history of St. Peter’s first 150 years benefited the church’s numerous outreaches.
One of the most striking elements of the church’s history, said author Brenda West, is its close and enduring connection with the University of Mississippi. F.A.P. Barnard, one of the university’s most talented early presidents and professors, was the first rector at St. Peter’s.
“Whether you’re an Oxford person, an Episcopalian or a university person, it’s fascinating, because from that point on there was just an intertwining with the university,” West said.
Trammell and Lynn Wells provided the venue, a hilltop at their Greystone Farm overlooking many acres of manicured grass.
“We mow five hours a day, six days a week. We enjoy it, though. It’s what we do,” said Trammell Wells, who retired with his wife to the farm 12 years ago.
“Trammell says if he starts mowing real early on a Monday morning in March, he can just about finish by late Saturday afternoon in November,” Lynn Wells joked. “We love sharing our place.”