Where did the summer go? | TheFencePost.com

Where did the summer go?

Karen McGaughey, the Queen Bee, with the trophy for Best of Show.

Albert Einstein is known for his “Theory of Relativity” part of which is based on concepts of time. I don’t begin to claim that I have a very good understanding of Einstein’s theories, this or others, but it doesn’t seem to have diminished the quality of my life in any noticeable way. I’m not Albert Einstein, but I have my own theory of time. I’ve never named it, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s call it The Theobald Theory of Time Expansion.

In 1972 Barbara and I took off on an extended road trip. I took a short Leave of Absence from IBM, we loaded the 1967 Volkswagen Squareback with our backpacking gear and headed out for nearly three months, up into northern Idaho, west through Washington and into Canada as far as the wilderness coast of Vancouver Island. We spent our last night in Canada in our sleeping bags on the ferry dock at Victoria, British Columbia. Across the water was the famous Empress Hotel, its lights reflected magically on the calm water. Raucous revelers spilling out of the Empress in the wee hours punctuated our night. In the morning we caught the early ferry to the U.S. and began the trip back across Washington, Idaho, Montana and Minnesota to the farm in Wisconsin for Tracy.

So what is my time theory? Nothing as complicated as Einstein’s, but valid nevertheless I think. When we got back from our road trip both Barbara and I were struck by how much our lives had slowed and how rushed and frantic our friends seemed to be. We all fall into comfortable ruts I suppose and the days slip by. It’s already the middle of August and just yesterday someone asked rhetorically “Where did the summer go?” My theory is that our perception of time, of the passage of time, expands and contracts depending on the number of discrete events we can identify in any given span of time. Here at home the time slips by one day after another without too much to distinguish one day from the next, and before you know it it’s “Where did the summer go?” On a vacation or a road trip though, there is lots going on and it seems as if it is a much longer period of time. I’m back home now, slipping back into my comfortable rut after just a week — or was that two weeks? I’ll have a little more to say about the trip next week, after I’ve settled in and am well rutted.

While I was gone the Boulder County Fair came and went. The Boulder County Fair is the oldest fair in Colorado. The first was held in October of 1869 on 40 acres of land purchased by the Colorado Agricultural Society in Boulder, between 28th and 30th Streets, South of Valmont. By the late 1800s the fair had moved to Roosevelt Park in Longmont, but when I came to Boulder County in the ‘60s the Pow Wow Rodeo was still being held on the original fair land.

Beekeepers were no doubt represented at those early fairs, and in 1892, independent of the fair, had a full day devoted to bees and honey, called appropriately “Honey Day,” October 4, 1892. This was organized by Rueben Coffin, an early settler.

With the creation of the Boulder County Beekeepers’ Association in 1975 the honey competition at the fair resumed and continues to this day. And now the beekeepers have reentered the Fair Parade, which occurs on the Saturday opening. The beekeepers’ float was the brain child of Miles McGaughey, current president of the BCBA. The trailer we use to bring bees from California was gussied up, Miles recruited friends and family and after an absence of perhaps a hundred years the beekeepers were in the parade and won a trophy for Best of Show.

We had a colony of bees, a beekeeper, students being taught about beekeeping and members of the Fairview High School Net Zero Environmental Club dressed in various forms of bee garb on the float or working the crowd handing out honey sticks. Way to go Miles, and congratulations to all those who helped make the float a success.

Now that I’m home it’s back to reality. The Honey House cleanup needs to get underway and I need to make a trip to Denver for containers. In a month it will be “where did the summer go?” ❖


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