Wednesday, August 20, 2008

#438 Grange Fair Preview

#438 Grange Fair Preview

I'm about to visit a grange fair and it's scaring the daylights out of me. Well, not exactly visit. I mean visit and do a radio show.

First off, I have no idea what a grange fair is. From the look of things its where farmers and their families gather to swap lies and show off livestock. But I have a book. a city guy always has to have a book. It's about 140 pages of schedules and events and rules and things. It is written in English. Mostly, simple declarative sentences.

But I don't know what the words mean in the orders they're used.

First, there's the slogan: "...the nation's most unique county fair." Most unique? There are degrees of uniqueness? What, two headed sheep? No. That would be absolutely unique. A four way tractor pull? Maybe that's more unique than a three way tractor pull and WAY more unique than a run of the mill two way tractor pull.

The next thing they tell you is that families have encamped at this week long soiree for decades, and some have waited decades to secure a coveted piece of ground for their family tent or RV.

Then, they tell you that pets aren't allowed. No pets? What, is your Fox Terrier going to chew up the draft horse team? By the way, what's a draft horse?

But I'm doing my research. For example, I have downloaded a picture of the official 2008 Grange Fair pickle jar. (Does anyone out here know what a pickle is? Not by my lights.) I also have downloaded a picture of the official 2008 Grange Fair stuffed sheep. (I wonder if they'll have real ones. Do they dare?) And I've watched the web cam slide show which makes the thing look like a summer day in Central Park, only with John Deere green and yellow reapers instead of wheeled pretzel stands and ice cream vendors.

So I'm going to interview farmers or shepherds or bratwurst makers (I've been warned not to ask for the recipes, but I'm not sure that's a precaution against stealing a long-running family secret or alerting the board of health.)

Going to try to restrict my interaction with animals beyond the Junior Rabbit Show and the pet Fox Terrier someone will no doubt sneak in under an authentic Native American decorative blanket in the back of his F150.

The folks behind this shindig are really REALLY enthusiastic.

That notwithstanding, things like this really do frighten me.

But there is one small consolation.

I can bring a loaded 12 gauge shotgun along for protection, and no one will think it's the least bit odd or out of place.

(You can expect a post mortem Monday 8/25/08)






Shrapnel:

--There are eight pumps at the local gas station. Pumps number 2, 5 and 8 are always on the fritz and the people inside know it. But so are some others and that makes gas buying like a gambling game and the payoff is that you may (or may not) get to buy gas at today's bargain prices.

--Class warfare? Not here. We're all out of class.

--The Long Island history crowd may have a point. Since Roosevelt has two pronunciations which President's name should we change? How do you like Franklin Rosevelt and Theodor Rooosevelt?

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2008

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