The Sacred Cow

Insight into the world from a devoted witness.

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Indiana State Fair 2008

I went to the Indiana State Fair yesterday and didn't melt into a pool of goo.

It's become a yearly tradition since my brother joined the marching band. Last year, with the heat index around 110 and humidity at an incalculable level, I thought my friend and I were going to spotaneously combust.

This was one of the nice years - hot, but not ungodly hot, with a nice breeze blowing at just the right times.

The charter bus carrying band parents, siblings, friends and other supporters rolled out of Southmont shortly after 6:30 a.m. A New Market fire truck led our caravan of buses and equipment vehicles to just outside Ladoga, where that town's firefighters picked us up. Ladoga residents and restaurant breakfast regulars stood on the downtown sidewalks and waved, some holding signs.

The firefighters split a few miles after that, and we were on our own for the rest of the ride.

South placed eighth overall in the preliminary competition and placed second among small bands. We got ninth in the "Sweet 16" finals. The full results, from 16-1: Lapel, Frankton, Noblesville, Muncie Central, Southport, Pendleton Heights, Anderson, Southmont, Hagerstown, Centerville, Winchester, Jay County, Northeastern, Highland, Richmond, Muncie Southside.

No surprise for the champs. It's the sixth time in eight years they've taken home the big fat trophy.

There was a long time between the 10:30 a.m. prelim performance and 10:30 p.m. final show. The band kids and chaperones were bused to Fishers United Methodist Church for a few hours of rest in the afternoon. Everyone else took in the sights, sounds and taste of the Fair. I don't know if anyone tried a Deep Fried Pepsi.

We took advantage of the air conditioned buildings as much as possible, starting with the always packed Expo Hall. There's no better one-stop shop for a coffin, new shower or flooring. Among the thousands of people, I was able to overhear a boy who looked all of eleven years old and ran up to a labor union booth.

"You don't like Mitch?" the boy asked.

No, I do not, the man replied.


"He cost me my job."

Oh, how refreshing to hear such anti-Mitch Daniels talk in the great state of Indiana. The governor's beheamoth RV, covered hood to bumper with gadzillions of signatures, maintained a presence near the Treetop Gift Shop and there was also a booth in the Expo Hall. 

The Democrats should have decorated their booth with blinking Christmas lights or a giant neon "Hoosiers for Jill", anything to attract more much-needed attention. Their guy looked pretty bored when I walked up to snag a Jill for Governor sign, brochure and a Change We Can Believe In fan.

Spread the word, he told me. So the sign is hanging on the bedroom window that faces the road. I know, how bold of me.

I noticed only a couple of changes about the fair from previous years, besides the Deep Fried Pepsi. The cost for a trip on the shuttle has risen a quarter to seventy-five cents per person. And the Hoosier Lottery now sponors the grandstand.

Stop by and see the cheese sculpture in the Our Land Pavilion.


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