This year's York County Fair marks something more than 30 county fairs in two states over the course of my newspaper career of as many years.
How more than 30 in 30 years you ask? It's simple really, for many of those years I did more than one fair per season.
I have emerged relatively unscathed despite endless opportunities for animals (and the occasional parent or grandparent) to bite, step on, kick or maim me. Dad, Mom, Grandpa and Grandma are wonderful, appreciative and understanding in the face of this dumb town kid's mistake about their exhibitor ... until they're not which can, in seconds, revert fun fair coverage back to being work again.
In 2019 for the first time I will do no livestock shows. None.
This is a great relief because each year it gets more difficult to keep track of which pig goes with which kid and whether they won Reserve Champion or Grand Champion or Breed Champion or Division Champion, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum.
You see Ole' Mose is a town guy. Always has been. Always will be. This fact of my upbringing - be it good or bad - makes all this business about pigeon-holing critters by species, size, sex, age, breed characteristics and designated duty to mankind (milk 'em, breed 'em, eat 'em, whatever) profoundly mysterious to a clueless boob such as myself.
Many years ago I made a conscious decision to enjoy the overall atmosphere of the county fair and not worry in the slightest whether any particular porker is a boar or sow or barrow or gilt.
Some folks need that information, judges for instance. On the other hand I, a lowly photographer and card-carrying contributor to accursed fake news, have no desire to be made privy to those excruciating anatomical details.
Duties for me this year were scaled back to mostly evening stuff which is good in light of my officially retired status as of January 1 this year. So for me and all of you this 2019 York County Fair is kind of 'Mose Light' and that's fine. I am confident Jessica Votipka is doing a great job chasing all that livestock in my stead. She'll be frazzled by the time the curtain comes down Saturday though I bet.
I hope you popped in for at least a couple hours one evening this week to check out the county fair ... your county fair.
Goodness knows it takes a small army of good folks to reinvent this particular brand of excitement every year for decades.
Thanks from me and this newspaper to everyone from the fair board to the lady cruising around on a golf cart Thursday evening, hustling to keep up with the trash cans.
Great show one and all. Again.