A Word or Two About State Fairs

Since I’m trying to get pages added to the book I’m writing, I’m going to let Slim Randles have this space for today. My muse has been kind to me of late, so I’m chugging along on One More Time, book three in the series that started with One Small Victory. I’m a third of the way into the story and would like to get a lot more done before my upcoming surgery sidelines me.

So here’s Slim with a great story about kids and state fairs. When I worked for WinnsboroToday.com, it was always great fun to cover the annual livestock show in Winnsboro and see the kids parade the animal they’d taken care of for a whole year. The dedication and willingness to work so hard was a joy to see.

The calendar, and the quality of the air we breathe, insist it’s state fair season. The different competitions are great to watch, no matter what it is.

You know, like trying to knock down a pile of cinder blocks with a ping pong ball at 50 feet.

But there’s also love and devotion and great pride and tremendous work on display at a fair, especially with the kids and their prize animals.

Over the years I’ve interviewed a ton of these kids for whichever newspaper I was working for, and it’s never ceased to amaze me. You give a kid a calf, or help him or her work to earn one, and then the real work begins. There’s the brushing and polishing, and feeding scientifically to bring out the best in the animal’s conformation.

And a kid must halter break the calf, which isn’t easy at all, so that 700 pounds of beef follows you around on a leash.

The kid gives hugs and snuggles to the growing calf, and gets them back in spades. That’s the part I don’t understand, sharing so much affection and love, knowing what comes next.

You see, if the calf and the kid have worked together well enough over the past season, the calf will bring big bucks to the owner at the big sale. Restaurant chains pay premium dollars to say their Flamo Burgers are made from prize-winning cattle.

So, at the end of the fair, the kid and the calf are separated for good, one eventually going on to college more affordably now. The other to the Flamo Burger factory.

There are tears, of course, and deep questions to be asked, but the bottom line is that a beef in great condition can pay for a lot of tuition.


Slim offers a way to help folks on Maui There are lots of options for donating.

Banner with Home Country written on it. Old red pickup on the left and headshot of Slim Randles on the right. He's smiling and wearing a white cowboy hat.

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.


Before I go, I want to share some great news on the book-front.

Next Chapter Publishing is making my books with them available at Walmart. Unlike Amazon or other retail sites, there isn’t a link to my name where you could see all the titles, but I’m still excited to see the books in another outlet. There are some readers who prefer to read paperbacks, and this new place is a good one for snagging one. Right now, the books are only available online at Walmart, but if sales are good enough, the store will consider putting them on shelves.

That would be so cool. Walk past the stationary and construction paper and see the book in the book section. 🙂

Here’s a Walmart link to One Perfect Love, the sequel to One Small Victory.

Cover for One Perfect Love. Smiling couple hugging each other. Woman in pink sweater. Man in green shirt. She has long brown hair pulled back from her face. He has a mix of gray and black hair.

Wishing you a happy HumpDay and a pleasant rest of your week.

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