Not only did the 4H kids clean up in award ribbons, but their exhausted exuberism cleaned up messy barns and loaded trailers full of gear and animals. There was a lot of waiting until their truck arrived, and I was most amused to see how they amused themselves.
Meet the clean up crew from St. Clair High School, who for the past 16 years has cleaned the sheep show ring as a school fundraiser. The dust was flying, as the tradition continued.
Finally the family truck arrived, and it was time to load the goats, as well form the the tack assembly line.
And then the next group for the middle 4 days of the Fair started to arrive, and the cycle of push-pull-lift-carry started all over again.
Which followed her everywhere. Off lead. No leash. Says Chisago County High School senior Jane, “The week before the Fair, she didn’t listen to me at all. I think, once at the Fair, “Pepper” bonded with me as her Mother. She’s only 6 months.”
Pepper would occasionally get distracted, but Jane soon coaxed her onto the right path. Jane, who also shows dogs, says she wasn’t quite as pleased with how she did in “Sheep Showmanship” compared to her other competitions, and says she has more to learn. In my humble opinion: Her sheep walks without a leash – that’s plenty impressive for me!
Day 2 of the 2016 Minnesota State Fair was decreed Unite In Purple day to honor Prince, our native son. The Fair was packed with record setting attendance; a large portion of the solid sea of people wore purple. We actively shared in the communal loss, for, as social activist Sandra said, “I’m here because for me, his death was devastating, to put it mildly.” We danced freely with friends and sang loudly with strangers, turning shock and sorrow into a party that felt like it may never end.
I’m proud to have been accepted once again into the largest juried Fine Arts Exhibit in the great cultural state of Minnesota, The Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit.
And I salute all my fellow artists who entered, and either got accepted, or didn’t. We’ve all been there. Some years in; some not.
There were over 1,000 photography entries this year, culled down to about 90.
I am honored. Thank you, Judge and Professor of the Arts, Michelle Westmark Wingard.
I hope you will bring your own narrative – and feelings – to this image
before you read the back story that follows.
From my vantage point, it is my wish that we all find our dance, our joy, our play in the spirit of this youngster on a rainy day at Cozy Point Ranch horse camp in Snowmass, Colorado.
Riding was cancelled due to the rain, and almost everyone was somber and disappointed – with the exception of this zesty little rider who skipped across the soaked grounds.
There’s always mud to play in.
I can’t remember the last time I played in the mud. But I will always find delight in those that do.
How lucky am I to find movement, forms, textures, color, light – and most importantly, life – right in front of my eyes.