End of the Garden Stew celebrates community

LUTHER — Luther area residents came together Saturday to enjoy the sunny weather, enjoy homemade stew and fixings and listen to live acoustic music.

The annual End of the Garden Stew is a get-together hosted by the Luther Area Museum.

"This event is a way to thank the patrons who support and visit the museum throughout the year," said Marilyn Gray, museum director.

Picnic tables were set up on the museum's lawn for guests to enjoy the meal.

"These tables were made by three different local families who donated them to the museum," Gray said.

Attendees had their choice between homemade beef stew or venison stew. Fry bread was made on-site by volunteers mixing self-rising flour with milk and forming small loaves of dough. The dough was fried in oil until it turned golden brown. Corn on the cob from the garden of local resident Alan Armstrong topped off the meal.

Members of the Luther Guitar College played old country songs on the porch of the museum. There were five guitar players, a string bass player and a washtub bass player.

Wayne Hammond formed the group about eight years ago when an area veteran asked him for help to improve his skills playing guitar. The veteran brought another friend to practice sessions, and before long, a group of men formed the band.

"The band consists of all veterans of foreign wars and a retired professional football player, Dan Larose," Hammond said. "Dan used to play for the Detroit Lions, and now he plays for us."

Butch Pacola, member of the Luther Guitar College, engaged the audience.

"It is so great to be here and perform for friends and neighbors," he said.