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Friday, July 25, 2003

Crazy for tryin', I'm crazy for lovin' you

Part of being sane, is being a little bit crazy.-- Janet Long
(Thank you, Patsy Cline!)
Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but, unlike charity, it should end there.-- Clare Booth Luce

All's Fair
To the Allen County 4-H Fair last night. First the memories of the Huron County Fair, awash in the smell of the cow barn. We used to get out of school a day in September for the fair. There'd be a kids' field day--I remember one year running in the 100-yard-dash and also in the relay. We won 3rd in the relay. The tractors, big ones--you could limb up on them and just pretend. The commercial building--the display for Culligan water softeners with the big faucet--when I was little I just couldn't figure out where the water came from! The bunnies, the chickens and best of all the cows and horses. Especially the draft horses--I just loved them. You could pet them all. The rides, the food. The stress of showing the flowers from my garden a couple years, and of my sad attempts at sewing another. When I was a little older, going up with friends who showed animals and spending all day. Hanging around the barns. Falling a little in love with the kid from Perkins who was working in his uncle's booth. Riding the merrygoround another night with Kurt, and the Ferris wheel too. Fair week was just magic.

Hasn't changed. Different state--shoot, different century! Ha! But the fair the same. The tractors, the big barns, the rides and carnival food, the crafts, the kids in neat jeans and collared shirts (no baggy pants and or black goth outfits or purple hair here) showing lambs (last night's judging) and riding horses. LOTS of people there--a rodeo was going on. We saw the chickens (JR almost gagged!), the bunnies, got to pet a llama, the goats, the sheep, the pigs, the cows, the horses. Rode some rides and ran into old friends--so great to catch up. Had a strawberry smoothie. A bite of JR's cotton candy. Road the tractor-pulled "shuttle"--two long benched wagons that took us on a full circuit of the grounds. JR on Papa's lap, laughing. Fairs, still magic.

It's just stunning to me, sometimes--the disconnect between the media and what they call "flyover country." Us. The coasts vs. the heartland. They'll report on stuff like the fair, or a local festival, but it's almost like they're reporting on a rare zoo animal, not the weave of everyday life. Which the fair is part of. And happens every year, year after year, with few changes. And it's as alien to sophiticates as a Madison-Avenue life is to us. thank goodness.

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