Wakefield Community Day set for Oct. 8

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Wakefield Foundation will hold its annual Wakefield Community Day event Saturday, Oct. 8, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on the grounds of the foundation’s building, located at 100 Wilson Ave. 

A foundation news release noted that at the event, the Wakefield Historical Association will sponsor an exhibit inside the building to include the large baby doll collection of Cheryl Boykin West; a large collection of toy tractors owned by Charles “Sonny” Boykin; and a hallway display of Wakefield’s history in pictures.

Also, the historical association will have its latest book for sale titled “Wakefield – A Journey in Time.” The book will contain stories about local people and their families, now living in places like Wakefield, Ivor, Sedley and Surry County, that came to America to find a better life — some escaping the extreme conditions of their home country.

Wakefield Community Day will feature a parade at 10 a.m. Musical entertainment will begin at 11 a.m. with Street of Gold Gospel, Community Male Chorus will follow at noon, and karaoke by DJ Cory “Tanqueray” Johnson is set for 1 p.m.

Offerings at the event will also include Wakefield’s Famous Brunswick Stew; homemade ice cream; desserts; food trucks, including Tiffany’s Food Truck and Yan’s Yard Fish; Sugar Daddy’s Kettle Corn & Lemonade; children’s games, sponsored by the Virginia Diner; craft and informational booths; and more.

Sharing further details about “Wakefield – A Journey in Time,” Wakefield Historical Association officials stated, “This book, another in a series highlighting the history of our community, will cause the reader to reflect upon and appreciate the freedom we have in America.”

The officials added that Ralph Seeley, board member of the WHA, “has done a magnificent job of gathering information and pictures to put the compelling stories into one book.”

Helping to preview her baby doll collection exhibit, West shared some details about it, noting that she has loved dolls all her life.

“As a young child, babies fascinated me, and I dressed up anything I could in baby clothes,” she said. “As a matter of fact, my mother gave me a very large squash out of the garden, and I dressed it in baby clothes and carried it everywhere until it rotted.”

West noted that Mary Pond had a shoe store on Main Street in Wakefield years ago. 

“My sister and I would go into the store and open the boxes of little white baby shoes, just to hold them,” West said. “Mrs. Pond asked my mother to not let us do this anymore because we didn’t put the shoes back into the right boxes.

“About 25 years ago my children gave me a collectible baby doll for a special occasion, and now I bring home every one I see,” she added.

She washes them and dresses them in baby clothes that match the style she wore as a baby.

“All of my dolls are not old, but something about their faces causes me to see a real baby in them,” she said. “I also collect doll cribs, cradles, high chairs, playpens and strollers. Oops, I’ve got to go — I see another homeless doll!”

Previewing his toy tractor collection, Charles Boykin indicated that his love for model tractors started when he was very young.

“Growing up on our family farm, I was always excited to hear a farm tractor coming down the road or into our fields,” he said. “The first toy tractor I had was a John Deere that was given away in a raffle at the local John Deere dealership, Cogsdale Implement Company owned by B.F. Ellis in Wakefield, Virginia. After that, any time my dad was going there to pick up parts, I always had to go and look at all the John Deere toys.”

Boykin noted that he finally was able to get a toy wagon to match his tractor, and it seemed like he just needed one more.

“In our community, the guys were always going to play at each other’s homes,” he said. “We always carried a tractor to farm; it’s so fun pushing a tractor you had never had, such great memories. That still brings a smile to my heart.”

He said there are a lot of life’s lessons that he learned from those times — sharing and friendships that continue today.

“As time went by, I would see a toy tractor that reminded me of a childhood memory, and it seemed to land on a shelf in my office,” he said. “My wife Pam, would ask, ‘Do you realize how long it takes to dust these toys?’ I don’t recall answering her, but somehow, they always shined when I walked by them.”

Boykin eventually started restoring a couple tractors that he had on the farm. 

“We still have them today,” he said. “My dad bought a new Oliver 88, and my granddaddy bought a new Case VAC after the war.”

He said that he hopes the exhibit Saturday will allow other people to enjoy toy tractors like he has.

To ask questions or to chat about tractors, contact Boykin at 757-620-8513.

For individuals and/or their organizations that would like to be part of Wakefield Community Day either as a vendor and/or parade participant, call 757-899-6005 for more information.

For updates relevant to the event, visit the Wakefield Foundation’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wakefieldfoundation.