Big Read has big finale

Fishtrap’s Big Read came to an end Saturday night with a 1960s-style dance at “The Place,” a community center at the United Methodist church in Joseph.

About 75 people attended the event, the culmination of weeks of studying Tim O’Brien’s semi-fictional Vietnam War classic “The Things They Carried.”

The finale featured the local band Black Horse, which included Matt Harshman on guitar and vocals, Mark Mason on drums and Jim Goodman on the bass.

The band played top 1960s-era hits as nearly everyone who attended dressed in period-appropriate clothing while enjoying snacks from the era as well.

Angie Lunde won the costume prize for her vintage prom dress while Judy Wandschneider’s macramé pants created a stir as well.

Fishtrap program manager Mike Midlo called the month-long program a success, even with inclement weather hampering several of the events.

“I think we were all pleased. The book is well-known and to go back to the Vietnam conflict is important. Particularly on how to treat returning soldiers and to examine in depth how our nation gets embroiled in conflicts” he said.

According to Midlo, the book benefited the community through touching those in the county who remember the era well.

“It gave them an opportunity to share stories, interact and meet with others in the community to talk about their experiences,” he said. “A lot of time, 40-50 years has passed since then, and a couple of generations have never really heard about it.”

Midlo added that Katherine Stickroth’s writing group for women also helped its