Yield: The Kansas State Fair | TheFencePost.com

Yield: The Kansas State Fair

Ol' Nevah and I ain't gone to the Kansas State Fair in more than a decade. So we decided to go this year — and we invited our good friends "Punkin" Cellar and his wife Roga to ride along with us.

We went on a Monday — thinking that the first day after the opening weekend would have a small crowd. Well, we figgered wrong. The attendance fee for most folks wuz free that day, thanks to a grocery chain promotion, and the rest of us paid only $1 for admittance. Hence, there wuz a "can't stir 'em with a stick" attendance for us to deal with.

Since everyone in our little group is an aggie, we have similar interests and politics, so it made for a pleasant ride and visit to and from the fair.

Folks, either I'm getting older and can't walk as far as I used to, or else they're making fairgrounds bigger than they used to. I think it's the former because we walked most of the huge Kansas State Fair that day and through most of the buildings and by late afternoon I wuz plumb tuckered out.

However, we stopped to rest and see events of interest pretty often. I enjoyed the pig races, the lumberjack competition, the chain saw carvers and the Texas Trick Riders. In the best lumberjack contest, two young guys sawed logs, chopped logs, climbed poles, threw axes and rolled logs. It wuz entertaining, but I wuz just glad I didn't see one of them chop his foot off with a razor sharp axe.

I did stop for a few minutes to watch the culmination of the open Jersey cattle show with the selection of the Grand Champion Jersey. Folks, they are sure making some marvelous Jersey cattle these days. All of the finalists in the mature cow class were producing more than 24,000 pounds of milk per lactation. That's a far cry from the production of the few Jersey cows we milked by hand during my youth. Back then, the Jersey milk had a delicious fat content, but the cows didn't produce much milk as compared to other breeds. Times change in the dairy biz, too.

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When the day wuz over and we were headed home, we joked that during these days of our elder years, we aren't the kind of folks the Kansas State Fair likes to host. Between the four of us, we didn't buy one item at the fair, except for food and drink. I told Punkin that the only reason I buy anything these days is to add variety to my inevitable estate auction.

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It's dried up enuf that I've got all the poultry and wildlife food plots tilled up and ready for planting. I'll plant the plots close to the chickens soon, but the plots away from the improvements I made may have to wait until the grasshoppers get chilled down. The chickens eat all the hoppers close to the yard and gardens.

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The dove hunting season has been a bust so far. But, a new bunch of northern migrant doves have hit this area just in time for the corn harvest to start. So, I might get in a good dove hunt or two yet.

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The fall radishes simply exploded out of the soil. It took just three weeks from planting to harvest and the radishes are big and mostly sweet. So far, the fall green beans and carrots are looking good, so we may get some fresh veggies if the frost holds off.

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I'm pretty disgusted at the Nike company for hiring a "flag kneeler" as a featured shill. There were thousands of more worthy "heroes" the company could have featured.

In fact, I returned a pair of Nike shoes to the store. When the clerk asked why I wuz returning the shoes, I told him that they hurt my feet while I wuz standing for the flag during the Star Spangled Banner.

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An Iowegian friend sent me an e-mail describing a new winter soup he plans to consume a lot of during the upcoming frigid winter. The soup is "Whiskey with H20 Croutons."

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Last week, I related a story from Burr, a Vermont "Jack of All Tradester." This week Burr describes how he "felled" a huge rock maple tree that was wedged into the upper branches of a neighboring huge hemlock tree. Here's his story:

"Now one might think that dropping a whole tree a foot and a half at a time would quickly free it from a neighboring hemlock's embrace. But remember, Murphy's Law of Logging is still in complete control. Only after a trailer load of 18-inch sections had come off from the ol' Husky's whine in Tootsie Roll style — and with the maple now reduced to only a slender top — did it finally fall over.

"Following that level of 'success,' this old fool found himself slightly dazed and crawling out from under a wicked tangle of rock maple branches. And then for the piece-de-resistance, this same fool, in the process of cutting up a mere smidgen of limb wood, proceeded to saw directly into one of his steel logging tools, ruining a brand new chain. Enough! I'm retiring both the Husky and myself."

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Sadly, the "Big C" has claimed another good man. My good friend Chris, from Owenboro, Ky., went to his Maker at the early age of 54. He was an outstanding husband, father, farmer, church and community leader. And he went through life with a positive attitude, a wry smile and a subtle sense of humor.

My words of wisdom for the week. We should all leave a legacy like Chris did.

Have a good 'un. ❖