Fair ends for another year

EVART - Another fair has sort of meandered its way into and out of community life once again - in some ways it’s the same, but in most ways so different. Many said so this week at the Osceola 4H/FFA Fair in Evart.

It’s not the same, some said.

There’s something different about it, still others said.

And even others tossed in, “It never changes.”

The difference for some is the involvement, for others the growing up, or growing older. For some it’s a time of making memories with their children. And for still others, it’s remembering the memories from when their children were children, and reliving them just a bit with their grandchildren.

For some it’s the excitement of the midway. For others, it’s checking out the livestock. For still others, it’s buying a cow or a steer to help a best friend’s boy or girl have money for school clothes or a bit more for college. And then there are the kids who re-invest a part of their auction money in more animals, and beginning the process of moving from the end of one fair on to the beginning of the next, while visions of chores dance through their heads.

For some, it’s feeling the excitement of placing first, and for others it’s dealing with another of life’s realities. Finishing in the middle of the pack, this time, or perhaps dead last.

For the artists and quilters, the carvers and photographers, the flower and vegetable growers and bakers, it’s the fun of doing and just plain being a part of, in this case the fair.

And there’s the lure of cotton candy and popcorn, the roar of tractors and whinny of horses, the waking in the night to the mooing of the cows, and to the dawn of another day with the crowing of a rooster. Sometimes roosters trying to sleep nights at the fair awaken early and imagine it’s time for the rest of the world to do likewise, and crow into the darkness with all their might.

It’s about the stroll from barn to barn, and the laughter as kids run and play tag or find an empty arena just right for a nice game of football. That is, immediately after two very little boys and one big wheelbarrow cleared it of ah-hum.

And it’s about being tackled and sliding into a spot they missed.

It’s about cattle that take a peek around a corner and discover a carton of chocolate milk, then stand there as though thinking about how that could happen. Surely a brown and white cow doesn’t produce such a miracle.

It’s about relationships, with leaders and club members, grandparents and grandchildren, and little kids who give grownups a reason to grin, and often a chance to be silly and laugh right out loud at one another’s antics.

It’s about friendships that last. And memories that are unable to be erased. And who would want to? It’s about winning and losing, picking and choosing, and doing the right thing. Not what everybody else thinks or wants or says or does. But the right thing.

Ask the little boy who picked up a dollar bill a man dropped and ran and told him, “This belongs to you, Mister.”

The right thing. The fair thing. Lessons for the learning for all of us, and preserving in our memories for eternity.