On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on September 22, 2022:

The 92nd annual Rains County Fair has come and gone, and many tired people in Emory and beyond can attest to its success. My perspective of the actual Fair was, as usual, confined mostly to the corner of the Exhibit Building by the restrooms, but since a large percentage of Fair goers pass by my booth at least once during the week, I have a few stories to share.

The festivities began before opening day on Tuesday, so we got up early Saturday morning and headed downtown. David loves a good breakfast, so we attended the American Legion monthly breakfast. Once we were full of some of the best bacon in town and all that goes with it, we walked over to the square to check out the classic cars. There were over 300 entries this year, and all the smiles were almost as bright as the highly polished paint jobs.

Sunday afternoon was set-up time in the Exhibit Building. Linda and Rocky Pietila shared a booth with me, and it took us a while to figure out the exact configuration that showed my books, Rocky’s hand-crafted western decorative items, and Linda’s western memorabilia to the best advantage. With David’s help, we made fairly quick work of displaying our wares and were soon ready for Tuesday’s opening.

We had some new exhibits this year including Turk Farm who displayed some beautiful plants and offered DIY succulent arrangements and the Rains County Welfare Board who was raising awareness of child abuse. Sisters Gloria Moore and Nancy Malone were also newcomers. Their offerings of homemade marshmallows in a wide variety of flavors were an instant hit. Their booth was often the most crowded, and by Saturday night, they were almost out of inventory.

There was the usual parade of pageant entrants dressed in satin and frills – although fewer than before they added a dressing room to the stage area – and some mutton busters clad in boots and jeans and sporting a number on their back. There were adorable babies and children with sticky hands and faces, and one lemur dressed in a western T-shirt and a pink tutu. But the cutest scenario occurred in Toni Threadgill’s booth across the aisle from me. Toni supplied comfortable chairs for those with tired feet and a small table and several chairs for the little ones. One curly-haired cutie sat down and tried for about five minutes to scoot closer to the table. Again and again he stood with the chair clutched against his bottom, took a couple of baby steps forward, and set the chair down again. In spite of his best efforts, though, he always seemed to end up further from the table than he wanted, so he repeated the process. After half a dozen attempts, he finally grabbed the table and pulled it toward him. The boy definitely has problem-solving skills.

Of course, a lot of the activity occurs outside the building in the livestock barns, the stage, and the midway. Cole Middleton had a run of good luck on one of the games and won lots of dad points with his kids. I’m not sure which game he played, but he won a bicycle on his first attempt. Since each player is allowed only one win a night, he had to come back the next night to try for the giant gorilla his daughter wanted. It took him five tries, but they went home with the toy that Jayna said had to be stuffed into the car and was so big that daughter Jaydie slept on it.

Some winners didn’t end up with a prize to take home. Shawn Priestley visited the restrooms to change out of his wet clothes after sitting in the dunking booth for a while. He didn’t win a prize he could hold in his hands, but I’m sure he won the admiration of his students and his family.

We got to see another winner at the Senior Center mid-week. Karen Yeakel’s grandson Ryan came in with his number still on his back. He wanted to show pictures of the 228-pound hog who took a 5th place ribbon. Not bad for his first time ever!

All good things come to an end, and it’s now time to move on to what comes next. As for me, I need to settle down and finish my next book. There are fourteen people who signed up to receive information about a release date, and I can’t keep them waiting.

Blessings,

Linda

Kitty’s Story

Fallen Angel Salvage

Tatia’s Tattoo

Mom’s Long Goodbye

A Long and Winding Road

Comments on: "Surviving Fair Week | by Linda Brendle" (2)

  1. Gloria Moore said:

    Well, you have kept us waiting expectantly! Hopefully we will read it soon!

    • We just got back from a few days in Arkansas with my brother and sis-in-law, and I even wrote a chapter while I was there. My calendar is pretty clear for the next couple of weeks, so I’m hoping to make progress!

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