Nora at the State Fair: Day 11 

Fair food consumed:

BBQ pork sandwich

French Fries (shared)

Olympia caramels (shared)

I swore that I would only drive to the Fair if I was entering something or it was raining, but I'm blowing that promise. I work downtown and it's hard to drive past the Fairgrounds to grab my bike. Plus the radar showed rain on the way. But mostly I was afraid that if I went home I'd stay there. I'm glad I didn't!

I don't know how the Indiana School for the Deaf deals with their grounds parked up with cars when school is in session, but from what I understand school does not start until August 24 this year so a construction project can be completed. Don't quote me on that — I may have lost something in the translation. I'm happy to see that the students have set up a booth to sell soda and water in the parking lots to raise money for their activities — and it gives me a chance to test my limited American Sign Language skills. I took a class at ISD over ten years ago. The class was great, but unfortunately my instructor concentrated on numbers and I can't do math on a good day. If you want to see my ultimate deer-in-the-headlights look ask me to figure multiplication problems in ASL.

I had the pleasure of seeing Michael Kelsey play on the Main Street Stage. As much as I love seeing Kelsey perform, I adore seeing the reactions of people who have never heard him and have no idea what to expect. His love of performing shines through, he does a better job of engaging the audience than anyone I've seen. He had the kids, tattooed twenty-something's, babes in strollers, State policeman, pregnant women, senior citizens, the vendors working the Lemon Shakeup booth and the soundman entranced.

Not only does he use every inch of his guitar, he uses everything around him. Pringle cans and juice boxes doubled as a slide for his acoustic guitar. Kelsey is great at extemporaneous songwriting, including most of the crowd in the lyrics and inciting an impromptu cartwheel session by a pre-teen boy. You can next catch him locally at Birdy's on September 6th.

I took some time to really look at the Swine Barn — it is the oldest building in the Fairgrounds. I'd never noticed the little piggy sculptures in the side of the building. Standing in front of the building was a good spot to watch the parade. Old tractors and waving farmers make me happy.

After that I met up with sister Beth and her best friend since they were kids, Ginger. We plopped ourselves on the bench of a tram and sat there for several minutes before we noticed there was no one driving the tractor and we were the only folks sitting there. Someone directed us to get on the handicapped tram (no comment). The seating on that tram has benches that face each other, sides, a floor and a ramp for wheelchairs and strollers.

We hopped off at Pioneer Village and checked out the craftspeople set up around the entrance. Beth bought a tiny clay jug necklace. It was suggested that she could put rum in it —with an eyedropper. Sounds like a lot of work for a few drops of booze. We checked everything out at the Walnut Creek coppersmith booth. Beth got an ornament inscribed with her and her husband's name. Ron Yurak, the coppersmith told her it was too bad that she only had two names to engrave. I joked that I would only have one name, unless he could find me a nice age-appropriate farm boy. I may now be betrothed to a farmer named Wade. I'll keep you posted — if we do get married, I can promise you the wedding will take place in Pioneer Village. While I was there I Ron trace my hand to make me a custom cookie cutter in the shape of my hand.

I had my first-ever BBQ pork sandwich from the Pork Producers — it was really good! We split fries from Barto's Catering booth across from his restaurant space in the Farm Bureau Building. We walked though the FFA Marketplace. More Ball freezer jars and Olympia caramels for me.

It was another fine evening at the Fair.

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