COLUMN: Fair and post-fair thanks

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     A few random notes, fair-related and otherwise:

     • Increasingly, it seems like I need to be several places at once, particularly during and after the Great Jones County Fair.

     On Sunday evening, some of us at the Express had planned to come to the office to finish up our annual Souvenir Edition, which includes photos and results of all the 4-H and Open animal shows from the fair.

     Over the weekend I also learned that both the Panther baseball and softball banquets were being held on the same night, at the same time – you guessed it, Sunday evening.

     Fortunately, others have the willingness and capability to take photos. So special thanks to Karla Ries at the softball banquet and Adriel Soper at the baseball banquet for taking and sending me photos from those events.

     Photos from both of those, by the way, will appear in our Aug. 8 issue.

     • A highlight of the fair for me was being part of the fair’s worship service on Sunday morning. I got to sing with our recently-formed quartet, Joe’s Boys (with Dale Heeren, Joe Reddy and Steve Carlson), and led a couple of hymns.

     Another highlight was playing and singing a half-hour set on the Free Stage on Sunday afternoon. Greg Hager, a talented country gospel musician who did several Free Stage sets during fair week, ran the 1 to 4 p.m. faith-based session on the stage. After I was able to scramble up the hill once the demolition derby wrapped up, Hager invited me on stage to do a few tunes.

     So I need to offer another thank-you, to Kim Brooks, who did extra duty at the Horse Show on Sunday as well as the Open Swine Show, so that I could get up on stage.

     We split the Horse Show into four shifts, and both Abby Manternach and Olivia Goodyear pulled double shifts to help fill the spots I left vacant. And Hannah Gray took on the Barbecue Contest and the Mutton Bustin’ event in addition to one horse show shift. So thanks to them as well.

     • In an unrelated topic, my Minnesota Twins have apparently decided to be sellers again this year, trading third baseman Eduardo Escobar (who leads the league in doubles) to Arizona for three prospects.

     Major League baseball fans know that when the July 31 trade deadline nears, teams have to decide whether they are going to acquire key players in hopes of making a deep playoff run (buyers), or dump off high-salaried players in exchange for prospects (sellers).

     Doing the latter indicates that you are pretty much mailing in the rest of this season, and hoping to build for the future. For fans who follow the sellers, the season suddenly becomes pointless.

     Last year, however, the Twins made a seller-like deal right before the deadline, sending closer Brandon Kintzler to Washington, and wound up finishing strong and making the post-season anyway. Since they play in by far the weakest division in baseball, the AL Central, a guy can hope that some sort of miraculous rally can happen again this year.



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