SOUR GRAPES: Fair observations

Beef Judge Cory Greiman at the Benton County Fair.

By Jim Magdefrau

Another fair. I think it goes back to the summer of 1978. Frank Morlan put the intern in charge of the O’Brien County Fair. Big pictures. That’s something I learned from Frank and Dad. I survived and learned.

And so it goes since then. Another fair is in the books for me, though semi-partially retired. As I explain to others, I’m in the business enough to remind me why I went into it, and why I decided to get out of it. This is one thing that kept me in it. It was four straight days of being outside. This was way better than sitting in a creaky swivel chair at cheap metal desk.

I was glad to snap a few pictures to preserve memories for others. And I was a bit proud to navigate my way around the ploplicity of poo piles in my path. The shoes stayed relatively clean. When I saw kids sliding in the muddy pools created by the rain, I grinned, then thought, “Umm. Some of that isn’t mud.”

Which reminds me of my favorite livestock judging lines.

“At that point, you begin to lose the edge in your groin.”


“She’s a female who is a little loose in her structure.”

In job interviews, I don’t think this would get past the Human Resources people. But it works when dealing with sheep and cattle.

There were plenty of flies.

As for flies, we’ve had some deep discussions and research on getting rid of the pesky little insects that like to bite us at dusk. A friend related that if you put coins into a clear bag of water, the light’s refractions will confuse and keep the flies away. Some also suggest adding bits of tin foil to the bag.

It might work. I know it will work if you take the tin foil and wear it as a hat. It will also keep pesky people away.

And as for alternative crops, can’t we have fields lined with Venus flytraps? Buzz buzz buzz. SNAP! Though native to the Carolinas, we can transplant them, I think. I’m no agriculture expert, but I did walk by the ag buildings at Iowa State. Maybe if we added coins, it might work.

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