HAMPTONVILLE — The smell of bacon frying wafted enticingly out the front doors of the Windor’s Crossroads Community Center on Saturday as friends and neighbors gathered for the 10th annual Windsor’s Crossroads Ruritan Club breakfast and tractor show. On the lawn outside there were around 20 antique tractors of all sizes on display.
“We’ve had a good turnout,” said organizer Bill Wooten. “It’s going real well.”
Harmony resident Tim Stanley called the event “fantastic.”
“Good people, good food, good times,” he said simply.
A full country breakfast buffet was served in exchange for donations which will go into the Ruritan club’s fund to help community members in need. Ruritan member Stephen Tulbert said the breakfast was a great success. The group made about nine gallons of gravy to serve, as well as bacon, sausage, biscuits and more.
The Ruritan club is well-known for its country breakfast fundraisers and it hosts several throughout the year. Tulbert said the main focus of the club is to support the local community. While there is a regional and national organization, funds raised in the community stay in the community to help students through scholarships. The group also steps in to help raise money for community residents who have experienced a tragedy such as a fire or health crisis. In addition to the annually scheduled breakfasts, the Ruritans often host other fundraising events to help area residents in need.
The walls inside the Windor’s Crossroads Community Center are lined with awards the group has won through the years. The center, a building constructed around 1916 that was originally a three-room schoolhouse, serves as the club’s headquarters.
Tulbert said the building was also part of the reason the local Ruritan club was established, to help care and maintain the historic structure. Through the years, the Ruritan club has worked to restore and maintain the building. With help from a grant, the windows recently have been updated. The center is used for Ruritan meetings and other community events and also is available to be rented for weddings and family reunions.
With the smell of home-cooked food in the air and the sun shining through the trees on the tractors, the day was like a reflection of days gone by. Wooten said that being able to showcase the old tractors was a great way for folks to remember their childhood days growing up in a rural farming region. Most of the tractors on display once belonged to the owner’s daddy or grandpa, Wooten said, and it gave them a lot of pride to be able to show it off.
“It takes ‘em back to when they used to be kids and working on the farm and what they grew up around,” he said “You got a bunch of old men relieving their youth when they were working on their farm with this kind of equipment. It wasn’t a tractor show then, it was work.”
Not all the attendees were old, however, a number of children were getting a chance to view some farm history and Wooten said it was a unique time to get to see the old tractors at work.
“It gives them a chance to see the farm equipment that was so prevalent when this was a farm community and it gives them a chance not only to see them, but also to get to hear them and see them run and actually perform out here as opposed to just sitting in a building.”
Eugene Howell, of Yadkinville, said the event was wonderful, especially for children.
“We come up here for breakfast every time they have it, but the tractor thing is special because we bring the grandkids,” he said. “They love tractors.”
In today’s fast-paced, TV, computer and smart-phone filled world, Howell said that the tractor show and breakfast was a good way to escape back to the pleasures of the past where folks just connected face-to-face.
“It’s just people around talking, keeping up with stuff, current events, gossip. Men don’t gossip,” he said with a grin, then added. “Yeah they do.”
Following the breakfast, the tractors lined up and headed for the open road to cruise through the countryside. Wooten said he was thrilled over the event’s success and looked forward to planning for next year.
In September, the Windsor’s Crossroads Ruritan Club will participate in the Harvest Festival in downtown Yadkinville and it will host its final breakfast of the year on Nov. 1. For additional information about the Windsor’s Crossroads Ruritan Club,, contact Bill Wooten at 336-468-4450.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.