When archaeologists of the future excavate at Windsor to procure data on life in an ancient New England rural community, they will discover if they are diligent that not only were Hereford beef steers successfully raised and ranged far from their native West, but that the hilltop folk of this so-called sophisticated age still took whole-hearted pleasure in the simplest forms of sport originated generations ago by country-dwelling forefathers. The former unusual phase of current life at Windsor is well known, but the latter has just come to the fore with the organization of the Windsor Recreation Association.
No elaborate equipment and organization such as that required to amuse a contemporary golf-playing, football-going city generation could possibly provide pleasure to match that evidently taken by the community of Windsor in the regular Sunday afternoon sports events at Brookvale Farm. For two hours or more, starting at 2 o’clock there are contests in buck-sawing, barrel-rolling, rifle-shooting, wood-chopping, hare-and-hounds — in short, almost the whole run of feats of skill, strength and endurance enjoyed infrequently by the men of past generations on the hill. The same simple events are being revived in a big way, to banish care and keep wits sharp.
Some 30 men, largely of younger years, comprise the active participants, but not the onlookers — men, women and a very generous representation of the juvenile element of the community, always outnumber them. Cheering is vociferous and advice voluminous, and at the same time, both serious and ludicrous. No doubt is left that the people generally are having as much fun as the choppers, the sawyers and the shooters.
There are two teams — known as the tigers and the Wildcats. the energy and determination of their wilderness namesakes undoubtedly are equaled by the contestants, but the utter good humor with which they plunge in is in sharp contrast. Incidentally, real wildcats roam the back country of Windsor, and occasionally one is shot not far from the scene of the Recreation Association meeting place — Brookvale Farm.
The whole series of weekly contests is for a dinner, a read, bang-up good country dinner which the losers must give the winners. But that is a thing of the future. Right now, with good weather holding out there is no thought of bringing the contests to a close.
This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.