By Darrell Todd Maurina
Some people preferred to eat hamburgers and pizza at the Curry County Fair, but many who came to the food court were looking for something they couldn’t fix at home.
For Tommy Filpi of Logan and Elizabeth Richards of Texico, their Tuesday night meal was something they’ve never been able to find anyplace else — thick potato chips from the “Cowboy Taters of Texas” booth.
“I’m 19 years old, and I’ve been coming here since third grade,” Filpi said. “It’s a big healthy meal.”
Big might have been understating it. The pile of freshly-fried thick potato chips in Filpi’s dish was so high that he had to share it with Richards, who also said she looks forward to eating them each year.
“This is the only place I know to get these,” Richards said. “I like these because they are thick and crunchy, and you get a lot of them for a good price.”
That’s what booth owner Jimmie Cain wants to hear.
“They’re just about the freshest potato chips you can get,” Cain said. “I make them to order, they don’t sit under a heat lamp but stay fresh.”
“I make family size orders, so if they go away hungry, it’s their fault,” Cain said.
Other longtime vendors at the Curry County Fair include Bob and Carol Wallace, whose booth provides everything from breaded Maine catfish to cherry cider and lemonade to traditional fair food such as funnel cakes.
While she began by selling specialty lemonade and cider, Carol Wallace said her most-requested foods were the Maine catfish and funnel cakes.
“Basically this is beef country and people get fish-hungry,” Wallace said.
Wallace, who once set up her food booth at about 40 events throughout six southwestern states, said she and her husband now do only about 15 to 20 per year but love their work too much to quit.
“This job is nice, you meet people at every show and it’s like coming home,” Wallace said.
One of those satisfied customers was Margaret Huerta of Clovis, who enjoyed a funnel cake after seeing her grandson’s entry in the swine show.
“I love these, they’re the most decadent thing,” Huerta said. “I came out here to see my grandson show pigs, and now we’re going to eat like pigs.”
Huerta said she’s enjoyed funnel cakes ever since her 10 children were little.
“When the kids were growing up, we couldn’t afford to buy donuts for all the kids so I made something like funnel cakes,” Huerta said. “I’m 77 years old and I still love to have fun.”
While many turned out for unusual food, some liked to order from booths such as the one sponsored by Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. James Bauer of Clovis said he enjoyed his meat burritos with extra chili sauce.
“It’s extremely good,” Bauer said. “Every year we come, we try to eat homemade things as this is as close as you get to homemade.”