The days of the pioneer return to MOSTHistory

EDINBURG — Children lined up yesterday to practice their roping skills in the Museum of South Texas History’s courtyard during the 26th annual Pioneer and Ranching Craft days. The museum invited guests to travel back in time to experience what life would have been like during the frontier days.

Janice Zezulka sat in the museum’s lobby and pedaled and spun wool yarn. Guests could see her in one of the more than 15 interactive educational exhibits that showcased the pioneer days.

“For me, it’s not just something that was done in the past,” the 66-year-old woman said. “It’s also done now, and a lot of people have never seen anyone spin.”

She said it was something she picked up at an adult education class. Typically, it takes her up to four hours to fill up a bobbin with spun yarn, and it can take up to a month for her to knit a sweater from the wool she spins. Though it may be time consuming, she believes it is not something that should be given up.

“I think it’s something that should be handed down through the generations, too, because when I learned to spin, no one in my family knew how,” she said. “I hope to teach my granddaughter; she’s been wanting to learn.”

Zezulka said she found the Pioneer Days to tie in the past and present in more ways than just history.

“I think it’s great just to see all the different ages come together,” the Mission native said. “As a retiree, I enjoy seeing all the young people, and I think it’s a good idea to see all the different crowds.”

With a lasso at hand, 3-year-old Rene Miguel Garza Jr. attempted to tie down a sawhorse decked out as a longhorn while his mother looked on. She said though it was their second time attending the event, it was their first time getting to enjoy the activities offered.

Apart from lessons in lassoing, event goers could enjoy distinct pioneer activities like horsehair braiding, rawhide leather crafting, spinning, sewing, rock pictography, a printing press, butter churning and creating a wooden chuck wagon.

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