Anyone who ever lived in a small town knows the joy that the annual county fair brings. People look forward to its coming for months, if only to break up the mundane. Bright lights, whirring rides, colorful people, smells (both good and bad), objects of little value but great desire – all of these things and more invade a common town and for just a little while, make it extraordinary. So it has always been in Portsong when the Buxley County Fair is held on a hallowed patch of ground called Hargit’s Field. No one quite knows how the fair was wrestled away from the larger cities nearby. But with the exception of the war years, it has always been held in our little town.
Much of the history of the fair has been chronicled for posterity. Stories of the wild rides, blue ribbon contests, and the human oddities that have been witnessed in Hargit’s Field have become legendary. But to capture the folksy flavor of the true county fair, I take you back to the fair of 1922 as archived in the September 8th edition of the Portsong Guardian. I hope you enjoy the ride.
Controversy Reigns as Miss Corrine’s Cobbler Does Not
In what many have referred to as the biggest surprise since the hailstorm of 1897, Miss Corrine Deaton failed to win her eleventh straight blue ribbon in the Pie Contest. She took home the red as runner up with her famous Peach Dream Cobbler. Coming in first was newcomer Hazel Gruber with her delicious Blackberry Delight. Congratulations to Mrs. Gruber, who just moved to our fair city all the way from Warblers Ridge.
The white ribbon was awarded to Mrs. Myrna Culpepper, who ended the day nearly as bitter as a slice of her rhubarb pie. After finishing second to Miss Corrine for a decade, she was quoted as saying, “serves her right – everyone knows a cobbler isn’t a pie anyway!”
On to the livestock events where in less dramatic fashion, Sherman Peas won the Hog Calling Contest by a unanimous decision. After hearing his grunts and chortles, every judge was inclined to go his way.
For the little ones, the goat-roping competition was head-butting good time until Wilmur Clegg’s billie got loose on the midway shutting down the rides for twenty minutes. Unfortunately, Smitty Robbins girl, little Esther, was at the apex of the Ferris wheel when it stopped and her weak stomach became a serious problem for those below.
All in all, this year’s fair was a wonderful event and we here at The Guardian hope the next three hundred and fifty-nine days fly by.
3 thoughts on “The County Fair”
Oh, those were the days! Before my time, but I can imagine it and it sounds lovely. And poor Miss Deaton not winning the pie contest! Reminds me of an episode of the Andy Griffith show and Aunt Bee’s pickles and Clara’s pickles. Loved the story!
What an honor, we love Mayberry here in Portsong!
So glad to hear of another Mayberry fan! If I could go back in time and place to any fictional town, it would be Mayberry!