Now lets get back to the Schut. The second Sunday in August is Schut day; beginning with mass at the church, the priest wishing all shooters good luck. Around noon all the shooters would bring their muskets and rifles (some of these guns were handed down from generation to generation) and meet at the supper club.
The band of shooters marched once around the only block in Hollandtown, then up the hill past the church and onto the Schut Grounds.
On the Schut grounds you could see the high tower where the bird was placed. The bird was made of wood, rubber, metal, and other materials. The object of the Schut was to shoot at this fabricated bird until the last piece of rubber was shot off. The head, wings, and tail were awarded monetary prizes. When the last piece of the bird was shot off the pole, the gentleman who shot it off, was awarded the title of "Schut King!" A title he carried until the next year.
As little girls, we would dress up in our Dutch costumes and be part of the parade.
The men would balance their rifles on the t-poles. The announcer would say; "Van Able on deck, Vandewettering to shoot. " Vandewettering shot. The announcer would say " Verhagen on deck Van Abel to shoot." This would go on for most of the day.
If the bird came down early, it would be said 'it wasn't made as well as it could be.' The bird maker has a big responsibility for this event, the strongest bird is the most desirable. My brother still carries on the tradition of making the bird. Looking back on old records, my great grandfather was 'king' back in the 1800's.
Once the king was crowned, he wore the Schut Cape and announced as Schut King.
His wife was named Schut Queen. The shooters, their friends and families then gathered back at the local supper club for an evening of celebrating the new king and queen.