Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Great Darke County Fair

There is nothing better than a County Fair, as you have heard me say. For a country boy the sights, the smells, the multitude of foods all call like a carney to your heart.

You want to go in, want to sip lemon shakeups and wade into the largest funnel cake in the history of the world. Your nose and eyes battle as you try to decide if the fried chicken smells better than the enormous pork tenderloin that hangs out of all sides of the bun by at least a foot.

The thump of an ancient machine cranking out home made ice cream in 7, count them 7 flavors, including black walnut beats a bass rhythm under the cry of the sideshow barker inviting you to see Zambina, the amazing 3 legged chicken, the dinkie doo, the rubber faced man, the alligator skinned rabbit. All the wonders of the world brought to your little town, your County Seat in trucks and trailers and available for your viewing pleasure for one think dollar bill. The opportunity of a lifetime, folks.

In a quiet places are the Grange exhibits.

Tables overladen with enormous neighbor beater tomatoes, zucchini squash to make any gardener proud,

Pumpkins large enough for
Cinderella's coach without much magic.

Cucumbers proudly covering a table, decorated with ribbons, blue, red and yellow proclaiming the skill of the farmer.

I sit on a pew, straight backed and worn, escaping from the sun...

watching judges look, feel, weigh the fruits of FFA labors in their hands. Years of experience have taught them skills I do not possess.

By some secret standards they declare a tomato, pepper, squash, onion or ear of corn a showstopper... best of show.

Sometimes I wonder if Heaven will have a County Fair.

Then I think, surely it will.

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