Out and About – Week of September 25th

The 2017 St. Joe County Grange Fair is now in the history books.. The next stop for the attractions is Hillsdale, Michigan. As far as I know, the fair has always happened in September. As a kid, I remember getting half-day off from school to attend this annual event. I think the students get the whole day off now.

It amazes me how they manage to put the same vendors at the same location every year. I thank the management for doing that. Everyone should know exactly where the best funnel cake can be found. I will debate the issue of where one can find the best food, when the topic of “Healthy” comes into the picture. I always direct the patrons to the blue Kiwanis building, where they serve up the more healthy items, including fresh fruit pies. Of course, a trip to the fair would not be complete without at least one elephant ear or pork sandwich with plenty of grilled onions.

Opening day, Sunday, September 17, was very successful. The weather was as close to perfect as one could expect. Monday, “Kids’ Day” was just as nice. Tuesday, on the other hand, was one for the ducks. I’m sure the farmers appreciated the nice soaking rain and cooler temperatures, but the fair attendees spent most of the time inside the exhibit and animal buildings. The sun made an attempt to make an appearance, and finally did just a little after 5 PM. The grange saved money on electricity on Tuesday, because the midway rides remained dark. Thursday and Friday of Fair Week were sunny and hot. Because of the heat, some of the livestock were removed from the fairgrounds.

Friday, Veterans’ Day, was extra special this year. A mobile Vietnam Wall was on display, and a special ceremony took place at the Community Tent at 11 AM. Vietnam veterans were recognized and a special pin was presented to those who had served in the Republic of Vietnam, by Senator John Proos. A very moving experience for all.

By all reports, as of this writing, this year’s fair was a huge success. We had some rain, but for the most part, Mother Nature cooperated. As usual, there was always someone complaining about the weather, but the last I heard, Fair Manager Bill Johnson cannot control the weather, no matter how hard he tries. Thank you, Bill, for doing all you can to make sure that everyone had a good time and safety was and always will be your top priority. See you next year!

My high school classmates held their annual gathering this past weekend. It’s something that was started when we all turned sixty years young. I’ve attended several of these and everyone has a great time reminiscing about the “Good Old Days”. It’s amazing how young everyone still looks and acts. We’ve lost quite a few classmates over the years, so they are always remembered in many conversations. I was unable to attend this year’s get together, but I’d like to thank Mary Sue and Harry for being the always gracious hosts.

I apologize for the shortness of this week’s column, but it’s difficult for me to think of much else with the fair happening. I would like to apologize also for any grammatical errors that you English majors might find. One of my editors is out of the area, which means that Alek will have to work a little harder to find mistakes.

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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