Letter to the Editor

Special fair memories in Adult Open Class

Friday, August 9, 2013

To The Editor:

Another July is gone, and so then is the 2013 Putnam County Fair. As superintendent of Adult Open Class, people ask me if I am glad it is over and I pause for just a second before answering with a resounding "No!" This time of community gathering, sharing, working and playing together is so special.

We, in the Adult Open Class Building, will strive to continue on with the solid groundwork that has been laid before us by Betty Sendmeyer, Edith Fry, Jackie Baumann, Marilyn Grove and Geneva Dorris as well as the countless others who have assisted them.

The right hand folks this year were Donna Tippin and Dorinda Emberton. This year's fair was lucky to have your hard work and dedication. Thank you both more than we can ever put in to words.

For some of us the fair begins a full week earlier. Selflessly giving lots of time, as well as the physical labor that is required, falls to a few of our husbands. They are well deserving of a huge thank-you. So, thank you to Joe Baumann, Gary Tahtinen, Jim Emberton and Jerry Glass. We are so thankful for your muscles.

We had a great fair with exhibits in Adult Open Class being up 90 more entries than last year (over a 10 percent increase). A special shout out to all department chairs for making check-in, judging, display and release such a great experience for everyone involved. Way to go, ladies.

Thanks also to all the people who continue to support us with such excellent exhibits. Competition in this county is stiff -- you all deserve a big pat on the back.

The Monday night open judging saw an audience on the edge of their seats, listening intently to all that our Arts Department Judge Chuck Wagoner had to say. The Grand Champion Award of the night went to Sara Ellen Peters for her portrait of a Rainforest Child. This portrait added such a grand element and super closing to the evening to hear her tell us the emotional inspiration for this very special piece of work. We are so glad she was in attendance.

Family Fun Day was just perfect. Thanks to One Stitch at a Time and Allspice Extension Homemakers Clubs for all of the hard work and thoughtful programming. The morning program was highlighted with "A Turning of the Quilts" and a style show titled "My Mother's Hats" by Sharon Swafford.

The afternoon portion began with a very special award to one of our own. Kim Lawrenz was recognized with "Spirit of the Fair Award." She is so deserving of this recognition as over the years she has donated countless hours of time and support to the Adult Open Class programs. Thank you again, Kim, and congratulations.

The afternoon proceeded with Wayne Lowery 's invitation to "sit back and relax" with his show, "Resounds of the Past." Our purse auction followed and we saw it having its most successful year yet. Thank you to all of the clubs, department chairs, businesses and individuals who donated their time and effort. A very good time was had by all.

Bakers' Best is such a grand undertaking, and this year's contest didn't disappoint. With a new twist on flavors this year of Caramel, Mocha or Toffee, we were not sure what to expect. The bakers of Putnam County (hmmm ... that sounds like a book) did not disappoint. We were up from 99 entries last year to 122 this year. The entire building smelled like caramel. It was just lovely!

And the awards were just as wonderful. Thank you to Maxine Neeley for once again outdoing herself by making the beautiful and classy aprons presented to the Champion and Reserve Champion. Thank you also to Bill Perkins for the lovely hand-turned rolling pin made especially for our first-place pie winner. Perkins also made and donated recipe holders and rolling pin-shaped earrings for some of our winners and placers.

Thank you to the Ila Nelson family for continuing to donate the engraved mixing bowl award to the "Best First Timer." And last but certainly not least, thank you very much to the Jack and Shirley Dalton fund. They are the new sponsors of our Bakers' Best Contest. We are very grateful to have always had such strong and generous sponsors in the past and are glad to welcome the Daltons in this new role.

The Fair Board officers have been strong, sure, and a pleasure to deal with. Thank you to Steve Greeson and Ray Poynter Jr. for your leadership and support.

Lastly, it would be impossible for me to recap and send out thank-yous without being reminded that this was Jackie Baumann's last year as the HHS educator and our first year without Geneva Dorris as our Adult Open Class superintendent. It is truly the blood, sweat and tears of these ladies that laid the solid groundwork for this year's fair and hopefully for many years to come.

With the help of Donna Tippin and Dorinda Emberton and everyone else, we will strive to never disappoint these great leaders who came before us.

Shelly Tahtinen


Adult Open Class