A Cowboy’s Faith: It’s county fair time – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: It’s county fair time

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Hey, let’s go to the county fair.”

Attending the county fair is highlight of summertime for many throughout the Midwest.

Young and old, oftentimes those of most maturity, look forward to attending the county fair.

Once a year, county fairs offer unique entertainment, a brief look at country lifestyle like none other.

Oh, sometimes local fairs will bring in prominent entertainers and even a traveling carnival. Those added attractions often increase fair attendance and provide atypical fun for rural people.

Yet, the livestock, crops, foods, sewing, flowers, art displays people enjoy and always best remember.

Looking back, a grocery store carryout boy-wannabe cowboy has distinct memories of attending the county fair.

Earliest reflection is going to the Friday morning livestock premium auction. A cousin always had a Hereford steer she’d shown at the fair and sold it in the auction.

For family support, Dad and his son attended the auction to bid on the “baby beef” as called back then. Idea was that the steer would be butchered and sold through the grocery store.

At least one time, Dad did have the winning bid on the “high-priced” fair entry. When processed, the steer carcass, while likely Prime grade, was heavily covered with fat. Meat-eating customers don’t like fat, so it had to be trimmed off, vastly reducing meat counter profitability.

Pre-teenage years, opportunity to attend the county fair horse show was highly anticipated. Two ranch families were heavily involved in organizing and participating in that fair competition. Because “halter horses” were the big fad of the era, those classes dominated the horse show.

There weren’t even any riding classes of any kind, just halter divisions for various ages and genders of horses. That is quarter horses, because other horse breeds seemed shirked and made fun of by the Flint Hills ranchers.

Finally, an opportunity came to show personal horses at the county fair. Spot, her baby Buchman’s Queen, and her yearling Missy Creek were hauled to the fairgrounds in a makeshift trailer.

Entered in four classes, the horses got last place every time. Sad day yet a prod to do better, to own and show winning horses. Working on that endeavor for six decades and still trying.

Reminded of Second John 1:8: “Beware of losing the prize that you have been working so hard to get.”

Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

Powered by WordPress