The 4-H Fair starts this week! How great is that?

It must have been in 1994 that I was told I would cover the Montgomery County Fair for the first time.

I was familiar with county fairs. But as a city kid, the fair meant rides and food. Once or twice I was subjected to the animal barns at the Pulaski County Fair. Mom and Grandpa insisted we go through those barns before the rides.

Then I covered the Logan County, Ill., fair. The highlight for me was an interview with an aspiring politician named . . . no, not Abraham Lincoln . . . Jim Thompson. He was campaigning for governor (and he made it! I'm sure my interview helped.) I think he was the last Illinois governor who wasn't indicted on some criminal charge.

So, when I was assigned to the Montgomery County 4-H Fair, I was not prepared.

I had to ask where the fairgrounds was located. (Isn't that in town? Are you kidding me?) I had to ask what the admission charge was. The Berrien County Fair I attended as a boy charged for parking.

Fortunately, thanks to the kindness of the local 4-H folks, I was able to fulfill my assignment and learn a lot along the way.

Mostly, I remember one of The Paper's former columnists, Joe Jarvis, was Mr. Montgomery County Fair, in my estimation. I never saw anyone so excited about Purdue University's Extension Office or the fair as was Joe Jarvis.

He corralled me into helping him cover the fair on more than one occasion. The most memorable event we covered together was the 4-H Fair Queen Pageant. Other guys gave me a hard time because they were covering an event in Lafayette that involved bikinis and a swimming pool. But seeing the expression on Joe's face as he talked about what all the 4-H fair queen candidates had accomplished in 4-H was unforgettable. I'm glad I was there to see it.

Before he passed away, Joe was honored by 4-H for his hard work, an honor he richly deserved.

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We had a follow up comment come in from Phil Goode about a question and answer in "Ask MAC" a few weeks ago.

The question was why are the school safety flashers still flashing after school was out for the summer? The follow up from Phil, the manager of CEL&P, was that the Crawfordsville Community Schools Corp. had asked the flashers be left on until summer school concluded. Hmm. Guess they will be turned off pretty soon now, huh?