Two more days. Just two more days. We can do it. I am definitely ready for a long weekend. What are your Labor Day plans?
For years, our family's Labor Day weekend was jam-packed with events at the Guthrie County Fair. We always had a little trailer or camper for us to sleep in. We had tons of 4-H projects in the 4-H building and usually a lead steer and pen of hogs to show in the livestock shows. It was typically hot and dusty for most of the fair. We ate our meals on the fairgrounds -- Mom always packed snacks and stuff for us, but it was just easier to eat a hamburger at the Lion's Building or a cheesy/brocoli potato at the 4-H Stand. The church ladies always had good lunches on Saturday and Sunday -- chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes, and then a fried chicken dinner.
In my younger years, I spent a lot of time at the Midway. (I shudder to remember that...) The carneys fascinated me and their games fascinated me even more. I don't want to think about how much money I sent down the chutes of the crane games. We weren't allowed to ride rides until the last day of the fair -- Monday -- when it was wristband day and you could ride unlimited all afternoon. It is a tiny Midway, but at the time we thought it was pretty great.
For many years, Grandma Betty sold Mary Kaye makeup inside the Varied Industries Building so we always had an excuse to go into the air-conditioning to cool off and tell her hello. It seems like she was close to the booth that made these amazing suckers -- every shape and flavor you could imagine. And they were big! A good bargain for a $1.
My sister's birthday almost always fell during the fair so she spent many years sharing cupcakes and ice cream with others who had fair birthdays. Oh and Friday night was always Teen Night with a big dance and everything! Hahah, oh I had nearly forgotten about that. All the town kids came to the fair that night, too, and we spent extra time getting ready in the crappy public showers that you had to use at the fair. They were awful. Heidi and I would try to get up super early to take our showers so we didn't have to see anybody but it never worked.
We all had friends at the fair wandering around -- many camping just like we did. But still, I never really loved the fair like my siblings did. I never felt like I fit in. It's hard to explain. Had I been more outgoing I would have had more fun, but those were my sullen teen years. What can I say?
And the anticipation of showing livestock nearly did me in -- I hated it. Hated everything about it... My steers were always wild and skittish. I hated leading them through the fairgrounds, dreading the moment they'd freak out and start dragging me along behind them. And then, even worse was Monday/Labor Day because that's when we sold all the animals and it always made me cry. I felt so bad leading them into the ring, knowing they'd soon be on a trailer headed to the locker to be made into hamburgers and pork chops. It was a traumatic time for me.
Oh the Guthrie County Fair -- what memories.