Dogs Rule at Old Drum Day Festival

“You ain’t gettin’ nothin’!”

Leonidas Hornsby was upset. He lost the trial…again. The judge raps the gavel and orders Mr. Hornsby to pay Charlie Burden $50 for killing his hunting dog, Old Drum.

That was Frank Calhoon as Mr. Hornsby in a short reenactment of the Old Drum trial Saturday inside the 1838 courthouse, a highlight to the first Old Drum Day Festival. This is the same place Sen. George Graham Vest delivered his famous closing statement that became known as the “Eulogy of the Dog.”

Joe Jokubeit as Sen. George Graham Vest.

“The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog,” proclaimed Joe Jokubeit, playing Mr. Vest…again.

Mr. Jokubeit was amazing, as usual. He’s played the role maybe half a dozen times, filling the room with palpable energy and emotion every time. I had the privilege of sharing the stage with Joe a handful of times as Francis Marion Cockrell on defense. We lost every time he was that good.

This reenactment had a special guest as the great-great-nephew of Charlie Burden, John Burden, played the role of his ancestor.

Overall, the festival went well. There were dogs everywhere as folks milled around vendor booths, some dressed in period outfits, and admired the dozens of “BurgDog Unleashed” entries. These were the hound dog statues artists painted in support of the festival, and visitors got to choose the best entry with a penny per vote. I haven’t heard who won, but the money raised goes to fix up the entrances to the old courthouse.

Hopefully the festival grows each year and Old Town Warrensburg gets more attention and support. The Johnson County Historical Society is doing some great things and the community should visit our town’s historic main square more often.

BurgDog Unleashed entries lined up in front of the old Davis Store, which was recently donated to the Johnson County Historical Society.

This chrome Old Drum entry was perched on top of a pedestal that resembles the statue downtown with a plaque of Vest's "Eulogy of the Dog."

Ben Pierce's "digitalBARK" entry was cool. Pierce started the online news site digitalBURG.com, which he later gave to the university.

Steve Grandfield, of Warrensburg, photographs his chocolaty Doberman Pinscher (in the neckerchief), Red Dog, among some other colorful dogs.

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  1. #1 by Jake on June 15, 2012 - 11:12 am

    Nice post which This reenactment had a special guest as the great-great-nephew of Charlie Burden, John Burden, played the role of his ancestor. Overall, the festival went well. There were dogs everywhere as folks milled around vendor booths, some dressed in period outfits, and admired the dozens of “BurgDog Unleashed” entries. Thanks a lot for posting this article.

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