Saturday, October 15, 2011

In a blue October sky...

Today I visited the Oconee County Fall Festival in beautiful Watkinsville, Georgia.  Here we celebrate community, family, fall  harvest (we are an agricultural county, after all); it's just a big slice of hometown Americana.  
Didn't have to look hard for a vision of small town livin'. There were two tractor pulled  hayrides bringing folk in from satellite parking, and all the kids seemed to love it.

I bypassed all the traffic by sneaking in the back way behind the courthouse on an old dirt road I know. There's only one house on the road, and it is a beautifully wooded path.  I take it every chance I get just for the scenery, but it works soo well in bypassing the traffic when Watkinsville holds some sort of Main Street event.   I zipped in right behind the bank and managed to get a space right up front.  Cost $5 but totally worth it. I only had to cross Main Street to get to the action. 

There's just something about a big blue October sky. I guess it is  the dryer air that doesn't hold water molecules and dust and smog etc.  It seems like the sky just glows blue and sometimes gold like pure sunshine. 

First I wandered around the front vendor area, happy to see that the festival favorite Kountry Kettle Korn tent was in its usual space, right up front.  And, as usual the line was a mile long.  This family  from south GA is an annual favorite and  honestly, probably one of the main reasons I got out and headed downtown today.  I'd have to come back and hit that line when I was ready to go. 

There's lots of craft booths, although very few of them seemed to have really handmade items. In fact a lot of the stuff looks like cheap china dollar store imports. I really think that the staff for this show needs to vet their applicants more thoroughly.  I always thought one of the criteria for this show was handmade only.  Apparently that is not the case.  

One vendor even had some terribly racist artifacts, under the guise of 'antiques'. Honestly, the "Whites Only" and "Colored to the Rear" signs did not look old; they looked like new merchandise. I'm going to google and find out if someone is really still making and selling these. I can't imagine why no one complains about it.  He (she? there was no one at the booth)  has been there every year I have gone. 
Next I found the Oconee County animal control booth.  I was hoping to buy a few discounted microchip vouchers from them; I need three more for my Morgan and the two pups.  The Animal Control people  have always offered discounted rabies shots and microchip vouchers at their booth. But, no such luck today. They had a few dogs for adoption, and people were petting them. The poor doggies got a lot of attention today, I hope some of them found a  home.

Rocket Field was filled with  food vendors, craft vendors, pony rides and stuff for the kids and even a petting zoo.  I was reminded how rural a county I live in when I spied a young teen girl, wearing blue jeans and obviously well worn cowboy boots (the kind of wear you get actually working, not paid for in a boutique) sitting in the hay in one of the cattle stalls.  She was playing on her phone, and had a calf lying beside her, its head on her lap. I thought of my own daughter and how she'd never, EVER be caught sitting in that dirty hay, with the flies buzzing all around those animals and I smiled.  These are real farm and cattle families, and sitting in the hay with big smelly animals is as normal to them as anything.  I don't know who that young lady was, but I am proud of her.  She and her family and those like them are the backbone of America. For true. 
I bought me a big ol' smoked turkey leg, a  hand dipped corn dog, and a homemade sweet potato pie from a couple of ladies. They assured me it was the best pie I'd ever eaten. I took the turkey leg wrapped to go but ate the corn dog right away.  Funny thing, I have always wanted to try one of those big turkey legs you see at so many festivals, and now that I have... bleah.  The meat is salty and has a weird texture.  I dont think I 'll be getting one of those again.  

They corn dog however, was absolutely delicious.  I know most think a corn dog, even a hand dipped fresh one, is not really the pinnacle of high dining, but I got to tell you, I haven't eaten many things that were  more tasty.  Sometimes something as simple as a wienie wrapped in corn batter, fried on a stick can be a little slice of heaven. 

I wandered around, looking at a few craft booths, animals, smiling families and laughing kids, until  I'd about had  my fill of all this small town celebratin'.   Time to  head home, got an e-book to finish tonight anyway. Shouldn't  have put off that task so long.  Time to go stand in line for kettle corn. This kettle corn is made right on site, in small batches, one kettle at a time. The line is always dreadfully long, but we still wait for it. Everyone in the county knows this for a fact, waiting in this line is 100% worth it.  Once you get a bite of this sweet and salty treat, you'll gladly wait in line year after year for the chance to buy some more.  I waited in line 50 minutes today, bought two large sacks and crunched happily on it all the way home.  


popcornmakin.MOV Watch on Posterous

Posted via email from The Art of Cynthia Pendley

No comments:

Post a Comment