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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."



Because the State Fair nearly wiped me out, I’m way late getting this week’s nonsense to the editor of this fine publication so I’m going to write really fast. The good news for you is that if you read it really slowly you will never know the difference…so let’s get going shall we?

  1. A new attendance record was set this year with preliminary figures showing somewhere around one million, one hundred thirty thousand people attending the Fair which is probably due to the unseasonably cool weather throughout the run. It was nice being able to walk around without melting into a puddle.

  2. Of those 1.13 million people who came to the Fair, I’m pretty sure I towed about half of them around behind me in the Tram. I’ve never seen them so packed, and for the most part people were polite and well behaved. I do think there are a few who probably don’t realize that everyone driving is a volunteer when they are yelling at us about something.

  3. Speaking of volunteers…They really are the unsung heroes of the State Fair. I don’t think people fully realize how many people are required to put on the granddaddy of all Fairs. From the folks working in the livestock shows, to the information booth people, they do a great job of keeping things running smoothly. I don’t think I could ever work in the information booth as I get really tired of answering the same question over and over again when driving tram. I think after an hour in the booth I’d probably run screaming down the Grand Concourse.

  4. I was pro and con on some of the new changes this year and if you have input I’m sure the folks at the Fair would be happy to hear it. Just remember to keep your comments helpful and appropriate. I still say if they got rid of half of the golf carts that are streaking around (or at least make them govern them to go no faster than anyone could walk) the Fair would be a great place!

  5. The best comment overheard at the Fair this year was instruction given to some young people… “This may be day nine or seven hundred fifty-seven for you at the Fair, but for someone out there, this is their very first day, so remember that when you interact with them.” I took that to heart as it is a good reminder for all of us.

  6. On the Trams it is hard to interact too much with the riders so those times that I do get a chance are fun for me. During one afternoon, stopped and waiting for the Budweiser Clydesdales to parade the grounds I started talking to a lady who was there with the band Railroad Earth. Hailing from Sacramento, California this was the first time she had ever been to Iowa and our Fair and from the get go she was amazed and wanted to know what she had to do to get the full Fair experience. After telling her to make sure she saw the big boar and the Butter Cow, we talked about the Ye Olde Mill and Pioneer Hall. When I started to mention food (what’s Fairer than Pork Chop on a Stick or a Corn Dog?) she looked at me and shyly told me she was a vegetarian. I told her she was completely screwed unless she wanted to go to the Salad Bowl in the Agriculture Building, but that people would probably look at her like she was crazy for getting a salad at the Fair. She finally decided on a deep fried Twinkie which I suppose isn’t all bad.

  7. Shifting gears a bit. Am I the only person who was just a wee bit disappointed in the eclipse? I thought it would be darker than it was.

  8. We couldn’t buy any rain for weeks and the one night I desperately need to get a good night’s sleep I am awoken by flash flood warnings? Thanks Mother Nature.

  9. School starts this week…Slow down and watch for kids.

  10. Finally this week, remember that it is time for the Great Zucchini to start coming around leaving zucchinis on people’s doorstep. It can be cruel but it happens…go with it and make bread. See you next week…remember we’re all in this together.