Monday, August 19, 2002

On Friday night Susan and I went to the Clarke County Fair, where we know a few folks, in an attempt to buy a steer at the 4-H Auction. My father-in-law picked up a hog at the Warren County auction the previous week. He was a stout fellow (the hog, that is) and is now on his way to becoming pork loin and sausage. The 4-H kids got good prices for their animals, good enough that we were priced out of the steer market. The irony is is that we have a few cattle here on the place and sell feeder calves. We don't have the facilities or the temperament to raise them up to the 1,000 pound plus size for slaughter, so we buy our beef from the local 4-H sales. The quality of the meat is better than anything you will find in the grocery store and the money goes straight to the kid who raised the steer. I often say that the purpose of 4-H auctions is to give young people the illusion that there is money in farming, in the hopes that some will be foolish enough to give it a try. Clark County's prices were lower than Warren's, but still higher than our budget allowed. We had a good time nonetheless. A few Warren County Deputies moonlight as security there for the week. We ran into one, an investigator whom Susan had spoken to many times, but had never met. (The phone is on her side of the bed - the Sheriff's Department wakes her first, then she wakes me.) He took a good look at her (a former Miss Warren County), looked closely at me, noted the contrast, then asked her, "Did you used to drink a lot?"

This week we try again at the Page County Fair.
Here is a link I misplaced when I switched computers last year; Inner Light Productions, Michael McClellan's web site and online gallery devoted to the Desert Fathers and his own remarkable photographs of Eastern Orthodox and Coptic monks and monasteries.