July brings with it the sweet days of the Big Stone County Fair! What is so sweet? It’s a dependable few days to practice loitering. No one ever tells you, “Go home, you’ve been here too long.” You can arrive for fair-food lunch, walk through the barns, catch a show, visit with old friends, play a few games of bingo, dodge a politician or two, pick another menu item for fair-food dinner, wander through the old-machinery park and stick around until the mosquitos chase you home, if you want to. Country kids look forward to the freedom and activity they find at the fair. Watching the happy kids at the fair, spend down their precious summer-time moments, could easily be the best part of it all, for me.
A little boy, excited to pet a fuzzy bunny, my own dear Shayla, proud to ride the white horse all by herself, kids bravely creating their best chain-saw noise in front of the crowd, real-life princesses - spotted on the grounds, big kids stopping by for a malt and someone’s child has the summer job of log-rolling in the American Lumberjack Show. Does the little miss in the English riding hat hold a resemblance to Prince Harry or am I seeing things? Oh, dear boy helping with the pony rides,”It must be awfully boring watching other kids ride your horse.” Young Leo, my girlfriend’s first-born, is busy; reigning as 2012 goat champion, bravely riding my old horse Sheba in the trial events, showing his homemade bench among the exhibits and then waiting tables at the 4-H food stand. Can’t resist the teeny-tiny fairy with her fashion designer mama!