My brothers, Donald and Darrel, and I attended the Waushara County Fair last Friday, and the memories returned. All three of us had been long-time 4-H members, and had shown calves at the fair, entered our garden, flower, forestry, woodworking and soil conservation project materials. We won ribbons, a few blue (1st), some red (2nd), some white (3rd), and the occasional pink (4th)—how could a judge be so wrong?
We followed in the steps of our father who had shown cattle at the Waushara County Fair in the 1920s, driving his cows the seven miles from our farm to Wautoma along a dusty country road. He followed the herd with a horse-drawn wagon loaded with hay, which he would feed the cattle the days they were at the fair.
On this warm Friday afternoon at the fair, the temperature was in the low 90s. We began by spending a half hour in the Farm Bureau building listening to John Jenks with his accordion entertaining the crowd with old-time polkas, waltzes and more. The music of our growing up years.
Then it was a walk through the several exhibit buildings where we checked on everything from pies to pickles, from carrots to dahlias, chatting with folks we knew as we walked along.
In the 4-H buildings we checked on the Holsteins and the Jerseys, the sheep, hogs, and the many breeds of beef cattle 4-Hers raise these days. We checked the 4-H photo, woodworking and electricity projects. We stopped to look at the chickens, ducks and geese.
And we looked at the several 4-H rabbit projects. A little girl, no more than ten or so, was cradling her little brown rabbit in her hands.
“You want to pet my bunny?" She asked in a quiet little voice.
“Does it bite?” I said
She gave me a, “Geeze this guy is dumb” look.
I petted her little rabbit as the little girl smiled.
We ended the day with dripping ice cream cones from the Farm Bureau food building. It was a great afternoon at the fair.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Take in a County Fair. It’s good for the soul—as well as a way to tweak memories for old timers.
BOOK OF THE WEEK:
A SETTLER’S YEAR: PIONEER LIFE THROUGH THE SEASONS, by Kathleen Ernst with photographs by Lloyd Heath featuring Old World Wisconsin.
A new book by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press with striking photos of pioneer life along with elegant prose by one of Wisconsin’s finest writers.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps a Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
August 26, 9:30 a.m. Farm Technology Days, Sun Prairie. Farm Stories.
August 30, 1-4 p.m., Book World, West Bend. Book signing.
September 3, Noon. Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History .
September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore, Oconomowoc. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
September 12, 2-4 p.m. Remarks at 2:30 p.m. West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History. Call 888-748-7479 for reservations.
September 17, 11:00 a.m. St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI. Stories From the Land
September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville. Whispers and Shadows.
September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.
October 4, 1-3 p.m. Readers Realm bookstore, Montello. Ag. History
October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows
October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.
October 11, Old World Wisconsin
October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows
October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI
October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing. Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
October 29, Brown County Library. Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.
November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.
November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows
November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary) plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.
November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium. Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)