Come to the Fair

Slim Randles is my Wednesday’s Guest today with a nice piece about the county fair and who wins ribbons and who does not. I love going to fairs, big and small, and I do enjoy seeing what items, and animals, claim the top prizes. I also really enjoy a good funnel cake. In fact, going to the fair has to include a good funnel cake. Speaking of which, why don’t we have some to share as we enjoy Slim’s post.


It’s fair time again. Time for dreams to come true and for disappointments to temporarily sweep through our lives. But the disappointments can’t really get much of a purchase, because there’s too much fun going on.

Last year’s surprise winner of the quilting competition, Windy Wilson, didn’t win this year, but he was ‘honorably mentioned,’ which is pretty good for an old cowboy and camp cook. Windy was having a deep-fried turkey leg later. When the boys from the Mule Barn found him, and commiserated with him on his lack of a blue ribbon, he just told them, “Boys, I got honorably mentioned this here year, and when you jest consider all them needle ladies I go up against, ain’t bad. Ain’t bad a-tall.”

Doc has a bottle of his homemade wine in the action this year, but the rest of the members of the world-dilemma think tank think Doc’s vino is going to tank. They’ve sampled it before. Doc even had Dewey bring over a pickup load of fertilizer last spring for his grapevines.

But when he’d announced that bit of gardening information one morning at coffee, Steve leaned over and whispered in Bert’s ear, “Better off eating the fertilizer and pouring that wine on the rose bushes.”

Dud was quieter than usual at the turkey leg get together. He could probably enter the accordion-playing competition, but he wasn’t even close to being good enough to give the others a run for their money. His book, well, it might not be published for years yet. And there wasn’t a book-writing contest at the fair, anyway.

But it’s fair time, and there’s just so much time to entertain disappointments before they are swept away by the happy screams of children coming from the midway, and the looks of pride when a young person brings a beautiful animal into the show ring to be judged.

Besides, where else can you find a deep-fried turkey leg?

Have you ever entered anything in a county or state fair? I have not, but my first horse won Best of Show at the Michigan State Fair a couple of years after I sold him. That was Turk, an American Saddlebred that could go western or English. The young girl who bought him, showed him at Western Pleasure. Sadly, I never got a picture of Turk in the two years I had him, so all I have are my memory pictures. 

He was a fine horse.


Slim’s column today is brought to you by Cedar Ridge Leather Works, fine custom leather for the shooting sports.

Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” that is featured in 380 newspapers across the country. He is also the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press. If you enjoy his columns here on the blog, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It features some of the best of the columns he has shared with us.

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