From Pipi’s Pasture: The Moffat County Fair years ago
The Moffat County Fair is in full swing right now, and I’m thinking back to years ago when my siblings, Charlotte, Darlene, Duane, and I showed all kinds of animals and exhibited other projects as well. It happened at the very same fairgrounds, and I’ve written about it all over the years — how we got the animals ready, what happened in the show ring, and all of the excitement.
It doesn’t seem possible, but it has been some 60 years since I showed animals at the Moffat County Fair. This very morning as I write my column, I can hear the crickets making their distinctive close-to-autumn sounds just before it is light, and I’m back to those mornings that we were getting ready to drive to the fairgrounds where we had left our animals the night before. We had to feed them, groom them for show, or if it was the last day of the fair- to gather up our breeding animals and other stuff and drive back home.
The fair was held a little later in August during those days. In fact it was so close to school starting that we high school students sometimes had to leave the fair for a brief period of time in order to register and pick up our books. So on fair mornings when we left home for Craig the air was cool. We had to wear jackets, and sometimes we even found a little frost. I remember Mom was concerned about her ripening tomatoes, but we were so busy with the fair that she didn’t have time to take care of them.
The cool mornings became hot August days, though we probably didn’t notice as we went about the show schedules. However, during the late afternoon and evening hours, as typical of the hot weather, the sky often filled with clouds, and thunderstorms left us seeking shelter in the fair barn. I can still hear the wind-driven rain as it pounded down on the barn’s metal roof. We could see sheets of rain through the open doors. This is especially memorable on the night of the Junior Livestock Show.
I remember one year in particular. It was the last day of the fair. We were headed home with two breeding heifers, Pudgey and Brownie. Dad was ahead of us in the pickup truck with the heifers, and my sister Charlotte and I were just behind. Charlotte was driving one of our family vehicles; I don’t remember which. We got stopped at a place in the road, not far from Hamilton, because there had been a cloud burst. Some of the mud and rocks had washed down into the road from a rocky hillside so typical of that area.
I remember that there were other vehicles stopped as well. Dad got out of the pickup truck and walked back to us. The road wasn’t completely impassable — just tricky. Dad told Charlotte how to maneuver the mess, and we were able to get through it and home safely.
These are just some memories of the Moffat County Fair of long ago.
“A Long Time That I’ve Loved You,” this week’s picture book for children was written by Margaret Wise Brown, the author of “Goodnight Moon,” published in 1947 — a classic in children’s literature. The illustrations for this week’s book, done by Kate Hudson, are breathtaking.