It’s almost fair time again

By Clyde Davis: CNJ columnist

The time is coming, and will soon be upon us, to get ready for the Curry County Fair.
For some of you, that means nurturing a special vegetable or flower for the gardening competition. For others, it means a needlepoint project. And yet others, it involves figuring out which vehicle or aircraft model you wish to use, or sorting through photographs with the intent of discerning which one you’d like to enlarge and frame.
Yep, every year around this time, I like to send out the message that there won’t be a county fair if you and I don’t make it happen. The livestock, the crafts projects, the canned and baked displays, these are all products of our creativity and there won’t be a fair if we don’t make it happen. Frankly, nobody over 21 goes to the county fair with the sole purpose of riding the rides.
I remember two years ago when Janice and the girlfriends — sounds like a ’60s girl singing group, doesn’t it? — decided to enter the salsa-making contest. I remember this because I was part of the secret plan — it was my job to decorate the salsa jar.
I developed a design with a couple of turquoise lizards painted around the outside of the salsa jar, circling a couple of cactus. They always say the presentation doesn’t influence judging; containers or mounting or whatever doesn’t count. They say that and really try, but let’s be honest — we all know of subliminal suggestion, right?
I was putting the finishing touches on the jar, the night before, when the doorbell rang. The love of my life scurried to the door, intent on keeping the girlfriends from coming in and seeing our secret plan.
Above the flurry, rose the voice of our favorite Chamber of Commerce director, “Hey, she’s cheating. She’s got an artist working in there.”
From then on, it was a no-holds barred contest including not just flavor, but presentation — flowers, linens, tableware, the whole nine yards. Ultimately, the winner was none of these esteemed matrons, but a little girl who was probably just into junior high. Ah, sweet ironies.
So we are, at this juncture, about five weeks from fair, which starts Aug. 15 at the fairgrounds.
Will your contribution be entering a piece of your own creativity? Something you canned? Entering the turtle race or rodeo? Or will you just support by your attendance and patronage?
Any way you get involved, don’t skip the county fair.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at:
clyde_davis@yahoo.com