Thursday, September 27, 2018

Reliving Our Childhood--Clay County Fair

As children growing up in NW Iowa, my siblings and I have fond memories of the Clay County Fair, or the Spencer Fair as we called it.  It is held in Spencer each year in September.

 For several years my brother, Dean, has wanted us to go, but being in September, and with my teaching job, I just couldn't.  This year with retirement made it possible to finally go. Yay!!

We packed up the camper and headed out on a Thursday and spent a night at Twins Lakes.  We also grew up around Twin Lakes.  My grandpa had a cabin on the lake, so we spent many summers swimming, skiing, and boating, but that's another story.  It was a quiet and peaceful evening.

Of course we drove through our home town, Pomeroy, the next morning on our way to Spencer.  We have such fond memories of growing up there.  But, sadly it just isn't what it used to be.

 We arrived at the campground, also known as an alfalfa field with electricity, and picked out three spots.  Dean and Gay and Kathy and Kenny arrived later.
This is a view of the "campground".  We were at the opposite end.  It has room for about 300 campers. We did not have sewer or water, so we had to be quite conservative with that.  They did provide a portable shower house which was quite nice.  I was very hesitant to try it, but after several VERY QUICK showers in the camper I just needed a good long hot shower. I was happy I tried it.  It had four shower stalls and a sink/mirror area.  Very private and cleaned after every shower.  I believe they travel with RAGBRAI, and I highly recommend them!
A panoramic view of the campground.  To the left of the photo is a road and the fairground is just on the other side of it.  There is also a handy dandy Casey's right behind where I was standing.  What more could you ask for????

Our first activity on Saturdaywas the Chuckwagon Races.  Bud used to go to them when he was a kid.  We went once at the State Fair a long time ago, but they just weren't up to snuff.  It was a new experience for the other four.
If you look up by the trees you will see the campground which was just across the street.

One highlight that Dean and Bud remember is the building that houses the miniature train display.

Monday we went on a short road trip to Okoboji.  Growing up our grandparents used to rent a house on the lake for a month in the summer. (This was before they bought the cabin on Twin Lakes.) So, we went on a hunt for that....The house has been replaced, but we found several of the small cabins still there.
We visited the Arnold's Park Museum.  In the museum there is the old slide, so we had to take a trip down it.  (I will admit I was too chicken to go down the first time.  I was afraid this old butt would get hurt.)

(I couldn't get the video to load, nor could I remove it from this page.  Scroll on!)

When we spent time at Okoboji in the summer we always attended Mass in Milford.  We stopped to visit that church.  Of course, Dean didn't remember it.  He was probably sleeping!

If you've taken Iowa History, which all of us who went to school in Iowa have, you have heard about the Spirit Lake Massacre.  We visited the memorial and the Abby Gardner Cabin.  Google it if you don't know about it. Always an opportunity to relearn something!!

We attended the Oak Ridge Boys/Jimmy Fortune concert on Monday night.  It was excellent! Jimmy Fortune used to be with the Statler Brothers.  His rendition of "How Great Thou Art"  was great!

Gay and I may have contributed to the local economy when we visited several quilt stores!
And we lost a little $$ in Emmetsburg!

Dean and Bud went to the car races Wednesday evening and Thursday Bud went to the tractor pull while I had some sewing time.
We had a great time!  Lots of reminiscing, laughing, eating, looking, and talking.

This is really the best picture.  We took it while someone who will remain nameless (Dean) was trying to get a selfie of us all!

This one is for Mom.....

 "No amount of money or success can take the place of time spent with your family."--unknown