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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



For the last ten years stuck deep in my wallet is a small piece of paper with a list of things I want to accomplish in this life; my bucket list if you want to call it that. One of those things on my list has to do with the Iowa State Fair, and no, it isn’t eating thirty-two corn dogs in one sitting. I’ve always secretly wanted to see the Fair from a vantage point that few get to experience. As luck would have it, through my involvement with the FFA Alumni I had the opportunity to drive the Tram for a few days this past fair. For those of you who are unsure what I’m talking about they are the carts that are pulled behind the tractors that take people from place to place around the fairgrounds. The six hour plus shifts were interesting and certainly became something I enjoyed, enough so to already have told them to plan on my return next year. As you know, I like to share random thoughts with you, and this time I’ve decided to give you a few random thoughts that I had during my time behind the wheel.

  1. I was asked a number of times if driving through crowds bothered me. The short answer is that the willingness of people not to get run over by a John Deere is much greater than you would think and they generally move out of the way.

  2. I hate golf carts. There are 230 of them at the Fair according to the guy who fueled my tractor and every single one of them was in front of me or attempting to cut me off 99% of the time.

  3. When you haven’t eaten the smell of cinnamon rolls and pork chops can make you crazy.

  4. The hardest part was seeing people I knew and not being able just to stop and chat with them, so if you saw me and I didn’t stop I’m sorry.

  5. Also sorry to those of you who waved and I didn’t wave back. At times I found myself feeling like a quarterback going through the progression of receivers as I scanned the crowd watching for potential trouble.

  6. It is interesting the things you look forward to during your drive. I met a very nice young lady named Sophia who was in charge of raising the gate arm at the end of the Grand Concourse. We would exchange waves and smiles or shake our heads when we both saw something weird and it was nice to have that small connection every round.

  7. Weird things I saw. A guy dressed like a dog being lead around by another guy. As they were both loaded in the paddy wagon in front of me I found it was a good time to buy a corn dog for my friend Sophia as a thank you since we weren’t going to go anywhere until the troopers were done with the dog boy.

  8. Speaking of corn dogs. They obviously didn’t know me when they gave me access to a PA system on my tram. The first night I told the riders that anyone who brought me a corn dog could ride for free the entire evening. I had a corn dog within 20 minutes.

  9. The tram is free.

  10. As I was coming down the hill from the cultural center a small shoe with Velcro fell onto the hood of my tractor. I’m sure that some small person was trying to explain to their Grandma how they lost their shoe.

  11. I saw a marriage proposal on the last day that I drove. The future groom’s extended family rode the sky glider from Pioneer Hall toward the Old Mill holding signs with the proposal on it while the couple rode up the hill towards them. She said “Yes”!

  12. Finally I really did enjoy my time driving, it wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be and really does give one a completely different view of the Fair. As always I’m sad to see the Fair end (mostly because I know winter is soon upon us), but will look forward to next year where you will find me once again tooling around in a big green tractor and secretly cursing golf carts under my breath while wishing I was eating a corn dog. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together!