When July rolls around we become inundated with County 4 H Fairs from every direction. My Mom took me to the Shawnee County when I was 10 years old. I was a City Kid, didn't have a clue about the "Country Kids" lifestyle. I loved Horses and wanted one, so this was my Mom's way of educating me on the Western Lifestyle.
The Fair was held at the Mid-America Fairgrounds (Now Kansas Expocentre) back in the mid-60's. Most of the buildings weren't air conditioned.
My Mom was a Wakarusa Girl and lived on a farm before her family moved to Topeka when she was a teenager. She grew up with chickens, hogs, cows and horses and she had a pony that took her to school. She became somewhat of a City Girl when she moved to Topeka, although the Highland Park area wasn't part of the City of Topeka, it was a rural farming community in the late 1920's and '30's.
We toured the animal pens and browsed through the student 4 H Exhibits. She had me in tears as she explained how many of the "Farm" animals raised by the 4 H Kids would be sold for slaughter following the Livestock sale. I had no idea. I thought they were all lifelong pets! It was in that moment I realized just how "emotionally tough" Country Kids had to be and if you lived on a farm or ranch with animals- it was alot of WORK. I realized what a Lazy Spoiled City Girl I was.
This Summer take your Kids or Grandkids to a local County Fair and not just for the the rides and games on the midway. Take them behind the scenes into the livestock pens, auctions, shows and exhibit halls. Give 'em a glimpse of what their "Country/Rural" lifestyle is all about!
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