Pipi’s Pasture: Sights and sounds of the Moffat County Fair
When I was 8 years old, I enrolled in 4-H as an associate member. I don’t remember how “associate” differed from “regular” member, but that’s how I got started.
Beginning then and for the next 10 years or so — around the middle of August to the first of September — I could be found at the Moffat County Fair. A couple of years later, my sister Charlotte also joined 4-H.
Years passed, and Lyle and I had our boys, and they were 4-Hers, too. They followed in my footsteps and showed beef projects at the county fair, first at the Weld County Fair and later (when we moved back to Craig) at the Moffat County Fair. Then grandchildren got a turn, exhibiting in Moffat County and at the Park County Fair at Fairplay.
In other words, I’m no stranger to county fairs, and each year when the Moffat County Fair rolls around, the sights, sounds, and even “smells” come flooding back — lots and lots of them.
Today I’m remembering the county fairs when Charlotte and I showed animals. I remember …
• Evenings or early mornings when we loaded up steers, heifers, a bull, and sheep and headed for the fairgrounds to enter our animals and get them settled in their stalls.
• The smell of sawdust in the newly-made stall.
• The fall feeling that was in the air.
• The excitement of getting to spend time with other 4-H members and the anticipation of events to come.
• The “downpour” that almost always occurred the night of the Junior Livestock Sale and having to close the barn’s windows and doors, hearing the hail and rain as it beat down on the metal roof, and not being able to hear anything else.
• Wash racks full of cattle, soapy hair, and animals shaking water off their heads.
• Getting slapped in the face with a soapy tail.
• Cows scowling at sheep that were being groomed near the wash rack.
• Grooming an animal for show and watching it to make sure it didn’t lie down in the minutes before the show ring.
• The Saturday when the breeding animals showed and the bleachers were filled with spectators waiting for an entertaining show to come because calves, just brought in from summer pasture with their moms, were not well-trained, and a rodeo often followed.
• “Parade night” when exhibitors led their animals in front of the rodeo bleachers, and animals, tired of being contained, often acted up.
• Dads comforting their children after they had been stepped on, kicked or dragged by their animals.
• A steer getting loose and running around the fairgrounds and being chased by a herd of people.
• The bleating sounds of sheep in the barn.
• The sounds of the auctioneer the night of the Junior Livestock Sale.
• Sitting on the show box during down time.
• The nervousness of stepping into the show ring and trying to get an animal to stand still for the judge.
There are so many memories that I could fill another column … and maybe I will.
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