Ours was the road most traveled to the county fair, as it was a direct shot from our driveway to the gateway to the fairgrounds. Many a horse knew its way down that two mile stretch of unbridled travel. Likewise, there was always that touch of personal involvement that seemed unending.
The horse always had to show up at the fairgrounds bushed and tired enough to seem broke. Whereas the cattle, hogs, sheep, etc. got to ride first class, and arrive early enough to get the most choice of stalls. Being an optimist and proud of my exhibits, it was always important to be located close to the door, where everyone could see each and every accomplishment.
Yes — it was entry day at the county fair, and that dirty ol’ road was speaking volumes about all the commotion. Not wide enough for two cars to meet meant worn down shoulders and a ditch full of miscues. Add a rainy day to the mix and the dampened spirit of an otherwise exuberant moment becomes challengingly more difficult to navigate.
No matter the conditions, at the end of the day you knew you’d had fun. I would lie on my bed in the upstairs bedroom looking down that road to the bright, flashing lights of the carnival.
Seldom did I get to stay on the grounds until they pulled the plug on the ferris wheel. That was always the last light I could see from my bedroom window.
Like always, there were winners and losers, but seldom disappointment in the experience. It meant a few horse trades for those that hadn’t quite figured out how to have their horse broke before competing; settling for a red or a white, when blue was long overdue. And heading back down that road which was now a whole lot more bumpy and full of chuck holes.
The new horse didn’t know his way home. If home is where his heart is, he must have been totally confused and bewildered about those same issues that seem to challenge those of us who occasionally still get on the wrong road.
Because of my family’s involvement in the Burke County Fair, that road was literally traveled from sun up to sundown for days on end — before, during and after the fair and figuratively — for as many as there were days.
The road most traveled is often the least appreciated or cared for, but travels a storied life for which lives are changed forever.
So it was written: Exodus 3:18 (Like that of the county fair) "then they will heed your voice; and you shall come for three days down that road (journey) to the fair (into the wilderness)."
"PONY TALES by" Ponty is written by Ken E. Knight, the author of the “Knightro Report”, a nationally syndicated livestock-marketing column, which is featured in the "Farm And Livestock Directory" every month.