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 rst 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.

Related: The County Fair is Still the Greatest Show on Earth


Yes, it was entry day at the county fair, and that dirty old 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 dif cult 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 ashing 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 gured 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 chuckholes.

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, guratively, 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.

Speaking of changing lives, Mr. Hess, who joined our company recently is already changing lives. The response to our first introduction of Gunter Hess has been beyond our wildest expectations. He is involved in some pretty big farm operations that found themselves in financial trouble. As he works to turn these operations around, we’ll keep you informed of some life-changing stories. He can be contacted at [email protected] or call him at 970-290-3278.

"PONY TALES by Ponty" is written by Ken E. Knight, the author of theKnightro Report, a nationally syndicated livestock-marketing column, which is featured in the "Farm And Livestock Directory" every month.

…Brothers And Sisters, And One Ol’ Man Processing Memories!