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Thoughts, Things, and Trivia by Jack – September 5, 2023

© Chris Sorensen
Jack Johnson

Kit Carson Day was this past weekend with a decent attendance, the barbeque was scrumptious, the rodeo was entertaining, especially the little cowpokes and the melodrama was a big hit. 

The last festival Kiowa County Fair is this week, so summer is nearing its run for this year in the manner that I remember from my growing up period. 

The sweltering heat would occur towards the end of August and last through the middle of September. The heat got me reminiscing about the celebrations that I was most familiar with; Lincoln County Fair, Cheyenne County Fair, Kiowa County Fair, Wild Horse Oldtimers Day and Kit Carson Day required short sleeves, shade and cold drinks. 

The county fairs were usually three-day gatherings with a parade, 4-H exhibits, rodeo and horse racing, farm and garden produce competition, livestock competition and a midway with carnival games, amusement rides and offbeat entertainment. The fairs ended with a dance on the last day. 

The most rememberable were the one-day town festivals with displays of handicrafts, a rodeo, maybe a baseball game, a parade, a pit barbeque and competitive contests for both the young and old. The day ended with rowdy dance music furnished by local musicians. 

The most exciting was my participation in the barbeque; help dig the pit by hand, haul in the firewood, prepare the pan, peel potatoes, clean onions, listen to uncles and pit boss argue about seasoning and liquids (wine or cider vinegar), place meat, potatoes, onions, seasoning and liquids in pan, cover and lower in over the hot coals, cover the hole a sheet of iron and a foot of dirt. Build a fire for the coffee pot to keep awake while watching for steam escaping from the pit. Sunday after church we cleaned the pan and backfilled the hole.    

Good readers, no column next week, I will be at a rendezvous in the foothills south of Denver.