"Where Dreams are Made" was the theme for the 142nd-annual Jefferson County Fair, and many dreams came true for those entering livestock projects or competing in the horse shows.
When I took pictures of winners many wore big smiles saying this was their first year to win a blue ribbon or first year to be in 4-H. Their dream had come true.
I liked the winning 4-H booth decorated by the Warren Ridge Wranglers, regarding dreams. There was a scene from the "Wizard of Oz," with Dorothy, actually a doll, in bed surrounded by the tin man, scarecrow and lion and a caption above her reads, "Toto, I had the strangest dream."
COOKIE GANG — LInda Chivers, left, was spooning out frosting and decorations to make Sesame Street cookie designs at the Kroger Cookie Decoration Contest at the fair. Others on the committee were John Ater, Betty Hasley and Amber Waggoner.
-- Esther McCoy
I hope the dream of having a successful blood drive at the Fort Steuben Mall on Sept. 8 comes true for the Denim and Dust 4-H Club. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Miranda Gordon and Isabelle Bonecutter, Sunrise Lads and Lassies 4-H sisters, had adorable cross-bred calves in the steer barn. The calves are adorable with their little, white faces.
Angel Wilson of the Backwoods Gang was one of the first-time winners in the small animals category with her hamster.
John Skatula, Lassos 'n' Lace 4-H, was happy that I knew how to spell his last name. It was actually the second time to win with a paint turtle. Russ Cooley told about his Eastern box turtle being hatched at his Edison school nature project. The tiny turtle is named Thumbelina.
I didn't get too friendly with the exotic animal entry of Faith Davies, Lassos 'n' Lace member. It was a red snake that was wrapped around her arm, with his head raised and eyes looking about with curiosity.
The Bube sisters, Bethanie and Courtnee, were washing their chickens, wiping feathers with a cloth dipped into a nearby basin. They asked if I wanted a chicken put in the water, but I didn't want to try photographing a flurry of feathers.
I learned from Jenna Anderson, Country Classics 4-H Club, that her white, fuzzy Lionhead rabbit had to be brushed three times a day. They always look as if they inserted their paw into an electric socket and got the shock of their life with their hair standing on end.
Charlie, Wanda and Sharon Cleaver had some of their scale tractor and farm equipment and a few of their 75 pedal tractors on display at the fair. They have between 200 and 300 1/8 scale models. They have been bringing their miniature farm equipment for display each year. And Charles must have been very easy on his toys, as he still has stuff from his childhood.
Hayden Johnson, 11, Dusty Boots 4-H member, was back from his grand champion win with a pen of four chickens at the Ohio State Fair. He got to participate in the big auction that is held, and his pen of chickens brought $25,000. Now he has won reserve champion with his 133-pound cross-bred lamb at the fair.
I found Judy Saiter teaching her grandchildren the health law of the barns - wash your hands after petting the animals or putting your hands on the fence. She was holding Connor Best up to the hand-washing station located outside the steer bar, while Cole Saiter and Lindsey Best were handling the sudsing and rinsing job themselves.
I have been told that Robin Wedlake, an adviser with the Country Classics 4-H Club, has been called the horse whisperer. She was shaving a few eyebrow hairs from J.B., the Arabian horse of Holly Valentine, when I spotted them. The horse was quite patient through the first beauty treatment, but when she went for the second eye, J.B. wasn't very happy.
Linda Yanda, a Holiday Cookbook winner and our US Bank lady, had her two grandchildren, Delilah and Colton Yanda from Weirton, at the fair. She seemed to enjoy watching the two taking part in the children's rides.
I have great admiration for Denise Rector, who pulled off a beautiful royalty tea for out-of town kings and queens, their chaperones and our royalty the day before the fair opening. Denise had two on the 2012 royalty scene. Rachel was the queen last year, and Matthew was the prince. And Matthew agreed to be the 2013 prince, as there were no candidates and someone was needed to escort the past and present princesses to the stage.
There were beautiful flower centerpieces on mint green tablecloths, the luncheon fixed by Froehlich's of turkey wraps, pasta salad and colorful fruit cubes looked festive and tasted great. Denise made the decorated cake and some very delicious peanut butter fudge.
Matthew, my Columbus raised grandson, and I managed to get an invitation to the luncheon, and he even got one of the gift bags that all the royalty received.
Speaking of Matthew, I think his dream came true in getting to stay at the fair for five days. He was such a big help to me in running errands, keeping track of the tiny golf cart key that I would have lost if not for him and reminding me of pictures I needed to take.
He made friends with Joey Wood, one of my favorite 4-H members since he was a cute little guy with blonde hair. All those comments are still true, but he is now as tall or taller than I am. He wanted to stay and see Joey show his two market hogs, but I needed to be in at the office and didn't want him at the fairgrounds by himself, so he missed it.
I know the feelings Michelle Wood is going through right now. They took their son, Ryan, a Steubenville High School graduate, to college this week. It is like there is a hole in the family for a time but it gradually levels out to acceptance. Ryan has been another of my 4-H favorites.
I will have more fair news next week, as there is so much that happens during the week that it can't all be contained in a single column.
I did want to write about a meaningful moment that Lamont, Jay, Matthew and I had when we saw the tree that was planted by the fair board in memory of our son, Larry, and the sign commemorating the tree. It is close to the commercial building.
I kept thinking of a song about "See the tree how big it is and it wasn't so long ago that it was a twig." That is what our red maple tree is now, but in years to come that we won't likely see, it will be a big shade tree for those attending the fair to enjoy its shade and coolness.
Larry loved the outdoors and planted many apple trees with Wheeler Welday. We have five trees on our property that he planted. And one that was planted in his memory, a dogwood, that was purchased by his cousins Greig and Mark and their families, and his uncle, Larry, for whom he was named.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is a staff columnist and food editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)