The Morris & Rhone Families
– Saviors to a Festival
In early 1999, the PurpleHull Pea Festival was facing one big, huge problem.
A problem so large that, if not for the generosity of two local families – Dub and Juli Morris, and Bobby and Melanie Rhone – the PurpleHull Pea Festival might have died.
The issue was this: Despite Emerson’s rural setting, the festival was running out of good places to hold the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race.
The difficulty began with a seemingly unrelated incident in 1997. That year, the Emerson High School agriculture building burned to the ground. When the new one was built, it was erected smack dab on top of one of the prime tiller racing locations.
The other track location had been the outfield of the baseball field. But beginning in 1998, a great deal of money and effort had been expended to make the field suitable to resurrect baseball at Emerson High. Understandably, those who had worked so hard getting the field in shape did not wish to see it plowed up, even if it did make a good garden spot.
What to do? Without another location near the festival grounds, the festival was in trouble.
A privately owned hay field near the festival site, part owned by the Rhone family, part by the Morris family, was offered as a tiller racing track.
And for that we are forever indebted to the Melanie and Bobby Rhone, and Juli and Dub Morris.
Juli and Dub Morris,
Shelbi and Dustin
Melanie and Bobby Rhone