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Barn saga colors McCords’ zest for life

By Kay S. Pedrotti Most people would associate a barn with lots of hard farm work. That’s not true of Floid Ray and Janet McCord’s barn. The barn, packed with interesting decor and at 45×75 feet able to accommodate a multitude of guests, is the second party/event venue in Floid’s life. He had what was known as The Fun Barn in Winfield, Kan. ’We did weddings, dinners, music, corporate parties, barbecue cookoffs, all kinds of stuff,’ said Floid Ray. He was an integral part of Winfield’s Walnut Valley Festival every year and participated in so many events and festivals he can’t remember them all. Janet, however, did not grow up having parties nor gave many as an adult. After both losing their lifetime spouses, Janet came back to Kansas for a class reunion and Floid Ray followed her back to Georgia. On their first wedding anniversary last year, they gave a huge barn party for a few hundred of their closest friends. Asked how he got started collecting the many items that now adorn the Lamar County barn, Floid Ray said, ‘I just never threw anything away.’ Janet agrees. ‘When we moved to Georgia we looked like the Clampetts with trailers all filled with old rusty farm equipment and everything else you could think of,’ she added. Since the barn has now been filled with various collections from the farm equipment to ceramic dogs, Floid Ray related that when a friend first saw the interior, he said, ‘My gosh, I’ve never seen such a big Cracker Barrel in my life!’ This year’s Barn Party on March 15 will benefi t Little Children of the World. All ticket proceeds and silent auction bid payments will go to the charity that helps destitute children with all phases of life from survival to education. Floid Ray is known for his ‘whole hog burgers,’ which will be served again this year along with side dishes and soft drinks in an old claw foot bathtub, filled with ice and decorated with whimsical frogs. His frog collection, he says, is still in Kansas with his sister. Other stuff in the barn includes painting and photos, an ancient musket, old bicycles, awards and medals, their toys from childhood and those of their children, rockets, a sled, saddles, an upsidedown Christmas tree and ‘Santa Frog,’ and a huge ‘boot chandelier,’ which Floid Ray made from old cowboy boots and metals and rigged it to turn constantly. He is an amazing creator, said Janet, able to work on most anything, sculpt rocks and weld metalworks. One section of the wall is dedicated to the late Art Powell, Janet’s first husband. ’We’re just tickled to be able to do this in support of Little Children of the World,’ said Janet. Floid Ray agrees: ‘It’s a very good cause and we’re just inviting everybody to come and eat, listen to music and have fun while we raise some money for children.’ The LCW benefit is Saturday, March 15, at 6 p.m. Tickets in advance are $20 and $25 at the door. Children under 12 are free. For information call 770-358-2771.

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