Herald and Journal Herald & Journal, Aug. 14, 2000

Things I learned at the county fair


People-watching is fun, but particularly at the Wright County Fair.

Last week, Howard Lake was home to the best county fair in the state, and it keeps getting better, I think.

One of the first things I noticed, is NEVER eat a chocolate malt and then go on a ride that goes upside down.

Don't take cotton candy on a ride that spins. It unravels all over you.

It isn't a good idea to step in anything you can't identify, and watch where you put your feet around the animal barns.

Pigs don't herd worth a darn, and sheep in coats are not necessarily happy sheep.

A 4-H'er with a chicken to show must know what color eggs that chicken will lay, and I never did hear how to tell.

Area fire departments are really good at setting fires and putting them out. The propane fire had the people in the grandstand, watching the talent show, oohing and aahing.

And the talent show showcased some fine talent from the county.

Little Alexandra Samson, who has a voice that brings goose bumps to my arms, won first place in the open division with a song, "Getting to Know You."

For three years now, she has delighted the crowd, and I thought she was one of a kind.

Surprise! She has a sister, Amber, who took the crowd in her hand and got a rousing response for her selection from "The Sound of Music."

As I wandered from the animal barns to the grandstand shows, it was clear to me that the fair board had put a lot of thought and work into giving the public a wide variety of options for entertainment, places to relax, and food to eat.

The horse show is the place I would spend a lot of time, if I could.

This year, there was a bad accident in one of the driving classes. Experienced horsewoman Judy Post was seriously injured when her horse, for whatever reason, began to buck and kick at the cart.

From what witnesses told me, the action launched Judy out of the cart and into a post.

The last I heard, Judy broke a hip, three ribs, and a collarbone. Things like this happen, even to the most seasoned people and animals.

I wish you a speedy recovery, Judy.

Baseball games

Interesting for me this last weekend was the opportunity to watch the State Mickey Mantle Tournament.

Howard Lake Team #1 took the championship.

As I watched them come off the field after their second game of the day, they appeared tired and out of gas.

Oh, to be 16 again.

A half-hour of rest and they were ready to meet and beat the Woodbury team, 6-2, for the state championship.

By the way, Gene Gilbert told me all the kids, who sign up to play for Howard Lake, get to play.

Woodbury and some of the other larger areas have try-outs to get on the team.

This says a lot to me about the quality of coaching and the personal values of those coaches.

But, our Howard Lake team mothers could take a few dance lessons from the Woodbury moms.

It turns out they know the Macarena and a few other dances, and they will perform at the drop of a hat. Quite entertaining, actually.

Other notes

For those of you who don't know, my dad died July 15. I plan to write something about him later this fall, after I have a chance to collect my thoughts.

He was a World War II veteran, and a fur trapper in Oregon. Enough said for now.

I appreciate the cards and expressions of sympathy I have received.

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