Life… such a miracle.
Redefining the County Fair
What? No carnival?
Education has been a part of the county fair since its beginnings. All ages enter home-grown products and projects for judging through 4-H or the Open class, hoping to win the coveted purple grand champion ribbon. These items entered did not just happen overnight, as research and hard work have been utilized to give the best possible effort.
The Yellow Medicine County Fair, held in Canby, Minnesota, is a free fair with its grounds and exhibits open to the public. The fair board works very hard, year round, to provide educational opportunities, entertainment and still keep the county fair affordable and family friendly.
The arts have been added as this year with displays and demonstrations educating the fair audience on a variety of art forms. Different styles of painting, photography, fiber arts, sculpture and mixed media were presented in two-hour slots of time. A free movie was shown at dusk which, for me, is reminiscent of the old drive-in movie days.
For the music lovers, jazz , old-time , blue-grass, Native American drum and dance group entertained audiences.
Scandinavian comedy was represented by an extremely talented and hilarious duo with local connections that always leave its audience in stitches.
A history element was also added with a very interesting father/daughter history of magic show that was spell-binding and included fun involvement with the audience. Highly recommend this team of magicians. Rope making and yarn spinning were demonstrated to give a glimpse of how the pioneers did these tasks many years before our time.
It was also fascinating to see the program put on by the Raptor Center from St. Paul, Minnesota. Real birds that had been injured so could not survive in the wild were brought out for an educational event with a dust of humor.
Add races and a ranch rodeo… I’m sure I’m missing a few events.
Carnival rides are extremely expensive and this county has been burnt the past two years in a row with rides that never showed up as contracted. Would you keep throwing money this direction after such experiences? An appeal was made to community groups and organizations to help fill this void. Maybe you were that person or group and I applaud you.
So, rather than taking one glance and saying, “Nothing at the fair this year,” maybe you took advantage of the events and programs that were at the fair.
The Yellow Medicine Fair board needs volunteers to help with planning and executing these events so that it doesn’t become merely a time to judge 4-H projects.
Maybe you are that person…?
A lifetime ahead of you…
I start uploading this image and gaze upon the flyer notifying me of my 40th year high school class reunion. Where did the years go?
- I was in pretty good physical shape in high school, but now parts of me jiggle when I walk.
- In high school, when I appeared to have confidence I was probably faking it. Now I just admit it when I’m lacking.
- While I’m not attending a formal “school,” I still enjoy learning and growing in experiences and knowledge. It’s just that now when I learn something new, it takes longer and something old has to go.
- As a senior in high school, I thought it would be an eternity until I would be old, like 30-year-old people. And now here I sit at 58 and it doesn’t feel old at all. (Today, anyway)
- Now I realize my parent were much smarter and “in tune” with the world than I ever gave them credit for at age 17.
- In high school I was afraid of the end of the world, which I attribute to growing up with the Cold War and Vietnam Conflict featured every night on the one channel that came in clearly. American body count and Viet Cong body count were the leading statistics. Guess the last domino didn’t fall, after all, since we are still a democratic society.
- But, I really would like to visit Vietnam now…
The last year of high school… a-h-h-h-h…
…and a lifetime ahead of you.
The bonding of music…a reunion on so many levels.
The band rehearsed all together for the first time in 30 years. Can they pull this off?
The crowd begins to trickle in early to get a seat or requested reserved seating like they did back in the day. Many walk in, stop, gaze across the old Legion dance floor, smile and say, “Wow, it looks the same.” I begin to see other types of reunions unfolding before my eyes as the hugs, handshakes and slaps on the backs commence. Back together again.
The Buffalo Rose Band takes the stage, the crowd cheers, and the music starts to more cheers and applause. Ahhhh…they sound wonderful… just like in our youth. Yes, everything is clicking into place and the night is playing out to be an event to remember.
The Legion dance floor is packed with dancers and smiles radiating throughout the darkened room. For one night we are young again.
A gentleman comes up to me and says, “You know, Buffalo Rose played for my wedding dance 34 years ago. This is a great thing here tonight.” I could tell by the sentiment in his voice that he is just as in love with his bride after 34 years as he was the day they married. And the music was a memorable part of that day.
Music is an interesting phenomenon. We connect with it emotionally to such a deep level that it seems to touch our soul. It can tug at the heart, whether happy or sad, bringing us up or helping us work through the down periods of our lives.
Close your eyes and listen to the music. Yes, music is just what the doctor ordered to get us through life.
Click on image for a larger view.
The kid can play…
This young man has been part of the gym scene for more years than most may realize. From water boy for my son’s 7th grade team to a key component of the current varsity team.
Imagine, if you added up all of the hours spent practicing in this very gym, the number you’d end up with.
Hard work,perseverance and determination… Now that adds up to true grit.
Hen House Wines make a “splash” on canvas (at least one did!)
We welcomed the makers of Hen House Wines, along with their signature products, to explore inner artistic qualities. What better activities to pair than painting and wine.
Step #1: Open the wine.
I was impressed with the efficiency they demonstrated as the official bottle opener fired up the “power tool” style corkscrew. The speed of this handy little device made by Oster meant the first step was a piece of cake. This group means business!
Step #2: Lightly sketch the design outlines.
Confidence increased with each stroke of the pencil… I can do this!
Step #3: Fill in the background with the acrylic paints. Thin with water, as needed (or wine if it spills onto your canvas… it works).
A seed customer pulled in during this step, but the crew just rolled with the flow as they painted and chatted away until their instructor returned.
Step 4: Fill in the petals with paint color of choice and use a darker hue to shadow and outline. Accent with lighter hues.
This step took a little longer, so there was ample time visit and discuss area current events and history.
Step 5: Fill in the center and give it some texture by dabbing with the brush.
Ta Daaaa! All in a day’s work.
Thanks for the fun evening, especially since I was able to just sit back and drink your intellectually satisfying wines.
A-a-a-a-h-h-h ~ This is the life.
Meyer’s Rec in South Shore, SD
In May we did some photography in the small, NE South Dakota town of South Shore and stumbled upon Meyer’s Rec…a small town bar on a typical Friday night. Looks like my kind of “down to earth” establishment and we were fortunate to find some friendly models to brighten up the exterior. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to investigate the interior or get to know our new friends.
I am intrigued by “off the beaten path” types of places with their interesting characters and have often wondered if this could lead to a photographic project with written commentary and/or poetry. Hmmm…?
I think my crystal ball shows a motorcycle ride to Meyer’s Rec to check out the inside. The name is kind of catchy, too, don’t you think?
(Click on image for a larger view)
Sidewalk Art Gallery
Thank you to the Runnings store in Canby, MN for hosting RJMeyerArts in their window for the Canby Hat Daze Sidewalk Art Gallery. Sidewalk Art Gallery will be up through Sunday, June 15, 2014. Stroll along the streets of Canby and enjoy the talents of local area artists. Yellow information sheets are posted in store windows for this self-guided tour.
It has taken me quite a while to come up with the very first post for our new website RJMeyerArts. As I reflect upon my life I have found that it has been a long and winding road (to quote the Beatles). Mistakes, I’ve had a few... (Thanks, Frank Sinatra) well, probably quite a few. But, hey, mistakes are there for a purpose, and we just need to make the best of them. Hence, the need for acceptance. Acceptance of our own particular stage in life. Acceptance of doing whatever we can with our God-given talents. Acceptance of the fact that we are here for a purpose.
The above blend of images from Cruz de Ferro in northern Spain along the Camino de Santiago, depicts a pilgrim with her own thoughts and reflections. It’s all of a personal nature, as is life. Life is a journey and has its mountains, valleys and “bumps in the road” of various kinds. You just keep moving forward. (Click on the links above for more information and history)
No matter what happens, I sincerely hope we can all enjoy the view as we move forward with RJMeyerArts.