Friday, August 05, 2005

Comes the Fair

A County Fair isn't something that springs up overnight in the hills of Eastern Kentucky.  It is more like a covey of quails, sneakin' through the back roads an' wanderin' in when folks are asleep or lookin' the other way.  Maybe it is the gypsy nature of Carney folks that causes this quiet entrance.  Not like a circus with all the fanfare, parades an' carryin' on.  Piece by piece, truck by truck they come from all directions to settle into the fairgrounds close the Beloved, Kentucky.

At night you can hear the heavy grumble of diesel trucks as they pull the Tilt-A Whirl or maybe a Merry-Go-Round into the gates, free an' open to the public for anyone to watch.  Shame is no one stops to see the wonder of a fair bein' born.  Listen close an' hear the old pickup pullin' Collin's Famous Racing Pigs.  As it turns a corner the pigs are jostled from their rest and squeal their indignation.  They are stars and athletes after all.  They need their sleep.

At night folks can hear the rustling clank of chains as machinery is tightened an' moved to place.  Stop if y'all will an' see a Ferris Wheel borned right before your eyes in a matter of hours.  First it is just a flatbed platform, waiting for birth an' then with the help of strong men it rises from that bed to the blue Appalachian sky, just waitin' to take youngin's up an' show them the glory of the surroundin' hills.  If they take time to look, that is.  Most likely they will only have eyes for their darlin's an' never see the hills filled with holly, rhododendron, sassafras, hickory an' red oak trees just up yonder.

The Carney folks get in early, set up their village of tents an' travel trailers.  They become a village within our village of Beloved.  Soon enough the Fair Board an'; all the volunteers will descend on the fairgrounds an' begin the magic.  Folks from round here will begin to come with baked goods, baskets of the best of the harvest an' a whole rainbow of displays.

Soon enough the 4H youngin's an' their families will pull in with cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, poultry an' rabbits.  The barns will fill with the laughter of families separated by just a generation or two come together to watch their brood compete just as their Mamas an Daddies, Aunts an' Uncles did years back.  Some folks will stay in the same barms with their livestock that their Great Grandpas built, that their Grandparents showed sheep or cattle in.  They bring cots an' clothes in trunks to settle in for the glorious week of County Fair.

You come too, they'll make room for you.

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