Slim Randles' Home Country
Remembering state fair time
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pencils, books and teacher's dirty looks for the youngsters, but in
some places it also means state fair season. That's when the world's
largest zucchini squash is at its prime, of course. The farm animals
are all shed off and shiny and cute, their horns polished to
diamond-like perfection by hardworking and hopeful kids.
The state fair is an annual pilgrimage of sorts, the fairgrounds
another temporary home. We need to touch base with turkey legs, corn
dogs and deep-fried everything.
We who sport gray in our hair, or
no hair at all, can look with relief at that giant slingshot that
shoots high school kids into a state fair orbit. It's a relief
because no one expects us to do that. And when we were young enough
to actually do that, thankfully, the diabolical state fair
scientists hadn't invented the darn thing yet.
Cruising around, you get to see everyone at their best. Best
fair-type clothing. Best behavior. Best smiles. If you scowl at any
point during a visit to the state fair, you either aren't trying
very hard or someone ran off with your date.
And we make those little secret promises to ourselves, too. You
see, we'd love to win a ribbon for making a quilt, or raising an
animal, or taking a fabulous photograph, or coming up with the best
painting in the whole state.
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But not all of us can do those things.
Maybe there should be some other categories for the rest of us,
such as finding a parking spot close to the fairgrounds that doesn't
cost $5. Practical things. Or how about a ribbon for not missing a
day's work all year? Or for being a nice guy and always letting
other drivers change lanes in front of you.
Somehow, though, we have to be content with just knowing we did
those things, so we can feel like a state fair blue-ribbon winner
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