Save The County Fair
I have a soap box I am fixin' to climb up on. Are you ready?
Have you been to a county fair lately? Yeah, I didn't think so. Why not? Too hot on those days of August when the fairs pop up all over our great nation? Yeah, those 4-H kids that got their animals all ready to show think it's really hot too. Or maybe it doesn't seem like a very interesting thing to do? Walking around looking at all those exhibits that the school kids and a few adults have put together does take some time out of a day. A livestock auction? Nah, let's just leave that to the guy who owns a neighborhood business. He'll buy the 4-H animals for the kids to save for college....
But wait. What if we all think that way?
I went to our local County Fair again this year. I entered a few of the photos I had taken in the photography classes. Last year I smoked 'em! This year I got beat. Oh well, there was some gorgeous work hanging in that exhibit hall. Just not very many entries. This year there were even less entries in the halls than there were last year. This year, there were even less people out enjoying the fair. The grandstands at the livestock auction were pretty empty too. Honestly.... It made me sad. Really, totally, bummed.
I came across a photo over in the almost completely bare vegetable exhibits. It quietly hung there and showed us how the fair used to look. The tables were cram packed with beautiful canned goods, homemade pies, garden produce and the like. Lovely farm wives, mothers, sisters and daughters entered the contests to see who's preserves or prized pumpkin would bring home the blue ribbon. There was a pride in being able to do things well.
What happened to that? Are we all so busy that we just "don't have time" for the things that make the world go around? You know, like growing a garden so we can eat the freshest veggies or encouraging our kids to learn how to do challenging things, such as raising a butcher hog to it's best possible condition.
I have another theory. Are we all too busy living in the virtual world that we forget to get out actually do something? Like, with our hands? Not just our thumbs on a screen. Does anybody still use those skills that our grandfolks and parents insisted we learn? Knitting, sewing, canning, halter breaking a steer, raising a flock of chickens, fixing up an antique tractor.... anything? I'm afraid we are losing the skills and passion that used to make our country resourceful and strong. I am sad when I think of a future without county fairs. All those artistic outlets gone. No more little kids beaming with pride when their rooster gets first prize. No more FFA kids saving for their first car by selling a winning steer each year. Bummer. Don't you think?
So, here's my call to action! How about next year we put down our phones and tablets long enough to create something worthy of a blue ribbon. Then maybe, look up the County Fair in your area and help fill those exhibit halls back up! Or at least keep the fair alive for another year. Then maybe the year after.... if enough of us did that, we could keep passing down the skills and handiworks that built America as we know it.
Alrighty, soap box is over.
Now go make something beautiful,