The County Fair brings back a rush of memories for me. It’s not the rides or the games or the food. It’s 4-H.
The first time I got involved with 4-H is was sewing, with Mrs. Tymrack. Her daughter, Cecilia was a super-good friend of mine. Cecilia had a lot of sisters, all with names that the Dione quintuplets had. Dad pointed that out to me. Mrs. Tymrack was from Poland and Cecilia had to wear dresses below her knees and other old-fashioned stuff. Still, Mrs. Tymrack made all sorts of Polish food from scratch, like pierogis and kolochkis, which I couldn’t even spell or say out-loud.
The first year of sewing, when I was ten, I made an apron and a tea-towel. Two things I never wanted to make or wear. I loved the part where I learned to model and strutted out on stage in an apron, with that silly tea-towel, like I was right out of Good Housekeeping. Later I learned how to make a skirt and dresses, and a lining, and match plaids. Always, always, always, the modeling was the best part. One year I made matching outfits for Marcia and John. I always got blue ribbons, except one year when accidentally cut a hole in the shirt I made.
Cooking was my favorite, next to showing my cow, Ladybird. I almost went to the State Fair with my Congo Squares. And the judges almost ate them all up before giving me my Rosette award.
Showing cows was the best, except for that year Bonita’s Blackeyes ran away and dragged her and she got so embarrassed that she just laid in the middle of the show ring, like she was dead and caused a commotion. I had to go in and get Blackeyes and finish showing her. I got so disgusted with Bonnie, cuz I knew she was faking it like she always did when she got hurt.
This year I got to interview a family who have been in 4-H for almost the whole official life of 4-H. The McCullough family has more than 300 years worth of membership on the year that 4-H turns 100 years old. Read more 4-H and the McCulloughs here.
I gotta talk to my kids about getting their kids involved. It’s a great for building skills and confidence.