The County Fair

It was on my bucket list. I'd been to the state fair, but never to the county fair. So on Saturday afternoon, Sweet Hubs and I went to stroll around the fair and check out the exhibits and the 4-H Auction.

It was fascinating! The list of entry classes seemed endless. The people who organized the event must have worked their fingers down to the white meat. Wow. Row after row of fruits, vegetables (looking a little wilty that late into the fair), crafts, photographs, dioramas...it was breathtaking. The Bonsai trees were amazing. I did wonder, though. Some of the trees were over 60 years old. Has one person been clipping that tiny tree for 60 years? Was it handed down? Did they buy it somewhere, already started? How does that work?

My special favorite was the 4-H Auction. The students were required to stay by their animal throughout the days of the fair. They spoke with us about the animal, its type and weight and so on. We were fascinated at the comfort these impressive young people had in talking to a couple of adults. I was also impressed at the fondness the young people demonstrated for their project animal. Later, they walked the animal around the auction ring and the bidding began.

Auctioneers amaze and amuse me. This guy was a handsome cowboy, dressed in a crisp, white, button-down, with his Wranglers, well-worn boots and Stetson completing the look. He had a terrific public speaking voice and did the auctioneer's sing-song so very well. A good auctioneer is key to a fun auction.

One of the animals being auctioned was a cross-bred steer. He was the red color of a Hereford and it so happened that a lovely redheaded lady was one of the bidders. The auctioneer did a great job of complimenting the hell out of that pretty lady by drawing comparisons between her flaming hair and the handsome red hide of the steer; he made it seem like that steer was grown especially for her. Well done.

Best of all, the little livestock auction was like going back 30 years to when this was a tiny ranching town. Everybody knew nearly everybody. People were bidding on the animals raised by young people they knew. One young lady raised a meat goat (as opposed to a goat bred for producing milk or wool). Between giving the goat a name and countless hours of time and attention, she became quite attached to the animal. The idea of her jogging buddy becoming someone's Carne Asada made her cry. Word got out... and a lovely lady from a prominent ranching family bought the goat for her petting zoo.

There were tears on the cheeks of almost every young girl as she led her 4-H project around the auction ring. The boys weren't quite as affected, boys being boys. It was wonderful to see these hardworking, dedicated young people and the town that supports them so well.

Just for fun, here are two songs featuring an auctioneer: