The State Fair and ?
A warm welcome to our newest Guest Blogger – award-winning author and dairy farmer, Robyn Buttars.
Fall marks the winding down of warm summer days, consuming fieldwork, and late nights waiting for the sun to set so sleep will come. Along with the beginning of school and the harvest, my family looks forward to the State Fair. Showing our registered Holsteins is an annual event. We connect with 4-H and FFA youth who bring their animals, food, and crafts to prove their prowess at completing a project.
We have become accustomed to the evening concerts, great food, and traveling acts. Often, we follow the crowd to stages featuring shows with lion tamers, high divers, and endangered animals. There is something for everyone at the fair.
This year, during the second week of the fair when the cattle barns were nearly empty, something happened that caught the attention of many visitors. Children, adults, and the State Fair Board made their way to the dairy barn. A jersey cow, awaiting the dairy sale, had a heifer calf. The mother and calf rested in a large enclosure on a thick bedding of sawdust. People pointed, shared their amazement in hushed voices, and went away having experienced, for that tiny moment, nature at its best.
Since I live on a farm, the new calf was not a novelty to me. Still, I watched with pleasure as it took hesitant steps on wobbly legs. Watching the crowd was even more enjoyable. With exclamations of delight, children pushed against the gates to get a closer look. A timid smile played on the face of a father trying to explain, in proper terms, the feeding moment. There was more than one grossed out exclamation when the cow relieved herself.
Along with the calf’s birth, I had another unusual experience during my stay in Salt Lake City. While relaxing in a downtown park, I heard noise on State Street. I saw people, in what appeared to be their bathing suits, walking down the street and supposed they were youth going swimming. I was busy and didn’t pay much attention to what was happening until the increased noise caused me to look again. Curious, I wandered over to State Street. When I reached the sidewalk, it was obvious the people on the street were not children nor were they wearing bathing suits. I looked up the street that led to the State Capital then down toward the city. As far as I could see in both directions, the street was full of a moving mass of humanity. Taken aback, I asked a fully clothed passerby what was going on.
He shook his head and shrugged. “It’s an ‘undie run’.”
Bemused, I turned away and walked back into the park. My thoughts didn’t turn away so easily. What was the point, I wondered. Were they trying to prove something, following the crowd, or were they just bored? Surely, there was a solution to all three problems. Then I thought of what seemed like a perfect solution. A V-8 commercial helped me put my thoughts into words—They could’ve gone to the fair.
Robyn Buttars lives and writes in the beautiful Cache Valley of Northern Utah.