Putnam County, Indiana 4-H Fair - Facebook
Today is Hump Day: the middle of the week where we go downhill towards the weekend, and the day when we have no deadline at the Banner.
Except on the second Wednesday of the month, or whenever something cool or dramatic happens here or there, today is normally a day of rest, with some of that time to devote to this blog.
But this one is not just another ordinary week. We are now in the middle of the 2018 Putnam County 4-H Fair. This is a time when 4-Hers and fair-goers are depending on us to cover the menagerie of animal shows. This may be my first time observing the fair as a reporter, but I now better understand just how serious it all is.
For me, the fair has always started with the 4-H Fair Parade. However, both Mr. Bernsee and I shared a commonality that it doesn't start until we've been rained on.
We got it with the downpour Friday evening. It was still better, much better, than being drenched in 100-degree heat.
I spent the parade puttering along with the VW Brigade. It is a tradition that I always look forward to being a part of. It's wonderful that we Veedubers can interact with people of many backgrounds and occupations. The parade is a microcosm of the larger event.
My work-related beginning to the fair was covering the poultry champions on Monday. I got a few looks here and there, but perhaps that was because I wore nicer clothes for the Russellville Town Council. Despite being decidedly out-of-place, the administrators and exhibitors were gracious in helping me get the pictures I needed.
Last night proved to be a little more difficult when I went to get photos of the steer and heifer champions.
I did not know that my SD card would fill up in the middle of capturing the champion steers. When that did happen, I had to call my other boss Jared to come save the day.
Fortunately, I had gotten pictures of the heifers before this debacle, but it was accompanied by a few 4-H parents silently getting impatient with me. One insisted that I had to get one of the champion steers' "profile" right, as if I was going to send my photo to an auction house.
The lesson I took from this experience yesterday is that I am still learning. I now know how to empty out my camera. I also better understand just how intense the fair can be. I get that there are a lot of stakes in each auction and show. In a rural community like ours, there is a lot of passion behind the craziness. You have to respect that.
I find it ever more fascinating how the livestock coincide with the flocks of city people who get a rush eating elephant ears, and then nearly lose it riding the Tilt-a-Whirl.
There's something about that which unapologetically screams "Hoosier" to me. Maybe I'll become more of one once I get a Legion Burger.