LAURINBURG — Braving a wave of oppressive heat that seems to have no plans to leave, more than 100 people slurped down fresh cantaloupe and watermelon, sipped sweet slushies, and danced in a spray of water from a Laurinburg Fire Department ladder truck between educational exhibits in the shade on Wednesday at Scotland Memorial Library’s second annual Community Day.
A steady stream of oldies filled the air, courtesy of guitarists Chris and Jen Fore — who also had children’s guitars and drums on hand for aspiring musicians.
“I think it went well despite the heat,” said Denise Dunn, the library’s youth services director. “I’m so grateful for everybody that came out, presented and gave their time.”
Demonstrations ranged from art to chemistry to the natural world, with Lumber River State Park rangers Brantley Bowen and Ronald Anderson on hand to fascinate the boys with a collection of shark teeth — a few from extinct species — collected from the riverbed.
As one young observer correctly guessed, a few of the artifacts belonged to Megalodon, who millions of years ago swam above what is now Scotland County before coastlines receded.
“This is another Megalodon, it’s just broke off,” Anderson pointed out, noting that the teeth are much desired by illegal scavengers. “They get as big as your hand. They’ll put them online if they find a good one — some of them have a red tint to them — and get as much as $500 apiece.”
City of Laurinburg employee Phillip Redbrook gave a simultaneous chemistry lesson and advertisement for public services in demonstrating the methods used by the water treatment plant. An array of test tubes containing blue, rust, purple, and burnt orange liquid indicated water samples containing minerals like iron, carbon, and phosphate.
“It’s more or less the process of how we treat the drinking water and the tests that we have to run, that are required by the state,” he said. “We have to get 30 samples a month for the distribution, and of course we run tests every day.”
Sherry Phillips, of Clio, South Carolina, brought a taste of yesteryear to the event with a tutorial in spinning raw cotton. She even used a pair of carders, circa 1840, to prepare the cotton fibers for spinning
“I take the seeds out, and then I comb it with my carders, combing the fibers,” she said. “Cotton fibers are very short, so you’ve got to put them together.”
One of Wednesday’s attendees was Kathy Mack, who brought granddaughter Jahzya Bethea out for the fun. The pair favored an electrical demonstration provided by Scotland County 4-H.
“I found out about this yesterday, so I said I’m going to stop by here when I get off of work — it’s awesome,” she said. “They should have had it where more people could come. My grandchildren, they’re in daycare, I’d have loved to bring them here.”
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.