Village of Yesteryear toasts Jim Trantham

After 38 years in the Village of Yesteryear, Jim Trantham is hanging up his tools and calling it a day.

The musical instrument maker is retiring after this year’s fair, passing the reins of leadership to Pam Earp, a crafter who creates corn shuck dolls.

On Saturday morning before the Village opened, the crafters gathered to honor the Tranthams. Jim’s son Doug and Doug’s children have been fixtures in the Village. With Jim’s retirement, all of the Tranthams will take a break from the Village.

Three generations of the Tranthams were honored at the Village of Yesteryear.

Three generations of the Tranthams were honored at the Village of Yesteryear.

The Village crafters have a tight bond, nurtured through years of a shared love for heritage crafts and the annual gathering for the fall Fair.

The send off brought a mixture of laughter and tears. Cloth handkerchiefs were handed out as souvenirs. They proved to be very practical keepsakes.

There were musical tributes, as well as several heartfelt speeches about what the Tranthams have meant to the village. Befitting the spirit of the artist group, Jim Trantham was presented with a one-of-a-kind creation — a handpainted letter E.

Jim Tranthams musical instruments have graced the Village of Yesteryear for nearly 40 years.

Jim Trantham's musical instruments have graced the Village of Yesteryear for nearly 40 years.

The Village of Yesteryear crafters offered well wishes for Jim Trantham and is family. All of the crafters signed the back of the gift presented to Jim Trantham.

The Village of Yesteryear crafters offered well wishes for Jim Trantham and is family. All of the crafters signed the back of the gift presented to Trantham.

 

The letter was one that had been used to spell out Village of Yesteryear on the side of the building. Today, a large banner is used instead of individual letters. Three of the artists had painted scenes on the letter, reflecting Jim’s craft, his family and home in the mountains, and his lifelong commitment to educating young people.

It was a fitting and emotional tribute. Good luck to Jim and his family.

About Merrie Go Round

Merrie Go Round is the midway alter-ego of Andrea Ashby, who has officially spent 241 days during the past 23 years at the N.C. State Fair. That's perfect attendance in case you were wondering. In addition to promoting the Fair, looking for untold Fair stories and working on various special events, I also spend a great deal of time roaming the grounds taking photos for the Website and State Fair publications. I like to keep my eyes and ears posted for the unusual and different things that make the State Fair such a great celebration of North Carolina people, traditions and history. I look forward to sharing with you the things I come across on my journey.

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