Thursday, August 22, 2002

We just returned from the Page County Fair where we finally succeeded in our quest to buy a steer. The auction in Page is in a covered building, the heat kept just on the near side of bearable by strategically placed fans. Good people though, and the kids did a great job with the livestock. The auctioneer was the same fellow who worked our Warren County sale. He has the classic high speed sing-song patter, broken by the staccato cries of the guys taking the bids ( A dollar ten, dollar twenty, dollar twenty?, Yep!, A dollar thirty? . . .) At Page he cautioned the crowd that all animals were sold by the pound, recalling the case of the suburbanite in Warren County this year who thought she had bought a sheep for three dollars, fifty cents. Multiply that by 110 pounds and you get the shock she had when time came to settle up. And they say us country folk are ignorant . . .

We ended up buying a nice Hereford steer raised by a little girl who came up to about my elbow. She had a little trouble in the ring persuading her 1235 pound charge to stand still, but you had to admire her pluck. She didn't name the animal, which is just as well. It disturbs some of our dinner guests when we can tell them who they are eating. The steer now goes to Gore's Custom Slaughter & Processing, where he joins the hog from the Warren County sale. (Yes, I know, a meatpacker named Gore is right up there with a Dentist named Gum, or an Osteopath named Bones. They do a great job nonetheless.)

If you have the time and inclination, go find yourself a rural County Fair and stop on in. Nothing fancy, just real folks doing things most Americans have forgotten. And if you are in the area, give us a call. We'll throw a steak on the grill.