Fair Week

I’m writing this in the middle of fair week. No, that doesn’t mean everything is fair this week and unfair the rest of the time. The Franklin County Fair is one of the great perks of living here. It is also the topic at the top of my unscientific survey for requested topics.

There are still enough independent livestock farmers to do competitive livestock shows at the fair, not to mention other judging events. There’s the antique farm machinery and demonstrations, and the draft horse pull. There’s the midway that we walk through to get somewhere else, but produces lots of noise and excitement to keep the atmosphere charged. There’s fair food. All these things make for the uniqueness of the week.

We rush to get done with things at home to make time for the fair. I’ll never forget the night that Craig, who runs the local radio station, wanted to do a live interview with me because I was running for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. He asked me if I liked the fair. What I said would have passed as mainstream in other markets, but people don’t talk like that outside a close circle of friends out here in the country. As far as I know, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) never came after Craig. Maybe they were busy with 9/11 truthers or JFK conspiracy theorists instead. The government lost my Selective Service records too. It shows we’ve got a ways to go to become an efficient totalitarian state.

This afternoon Dawn and I work in the ice cream stand, possibly the most popular attraction at the fair. We are so fortunate to have a friend like Marcus who asked us to work there. He and Robin and the other fair board members deserve all this praise that is heaped upon them all the time. If everybody worked that hard, there wouldn’t be a market for economy cars.

While I’m on the subject of individuals as an essential element of a whole I can’t help but mention a letter to the editor that was published in the Hampton Chronicle last week. The writer was pointing out how vocal music director, Jesse Bunge, had evolved from focusing on groups to a focus on individual achievement as a path to success as a group. (Jesse is moving away. His contribution to the school vocal music program was notable but he helped mold the individuals in Franklin Chorale into an exceptional group as well.)

What struck me, was how this writer saw the same thing as I did in Jesse’s career. The philosophy of the founders of this country are symbolized by Jesse’s approach as described in the article.

Thanks to all those individuals out there who bring the pieces together for the rest of us in this beautiful community.

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