The Delta Fair wrapped up today near the Agricenter at Shelby Farms in Memphis, Tennessee.
Fairs haven’t really changed much in all the years I have been going. There is a certain comfort in that. Not much really stays the same anymore, but the fairs
are still pretty much the same as they have always been.
Teens meet up, romances blossom, parents look forward to seeing their happy kids screaming with delight as they fly through the air at high speeds. Kids want their parents to watch them as they fly through the air at high speeds. If you are lucky you will get to see a cute little baby piglet or baby goat. You can drink fresh squeezed lemonade; eat a giant turkey leg or corn on the cob, dripping with butter.
I dodged excited kids weaving in and out of the crowd, racing to be next in line at their favorite ride. You have to admit, from the people who set up the fair, to those who come from miles away, it’s and interesting mix and makes for prime people watching.
As I made my way down the midway, I thought, gee, some of these people sure are a bit odd; some maybe even downright scary. Then I wondered if the odd scary people were thinking the same thing?
I am ashamed to admit I ate an entire elephant ear while my daughter and her friend waited in a really long line to ride a roller coaster. I regretted that decision the rest of the night. I had a serious case of fair food remorse. Good thing the fair is only once a year.
To my delight however, as our evening came to a close, I saw two of the sweetest cowboys boys strolling down the midway. There was no mistake: these country boys were surely not from Memphis. I felt compelled to take their picture and as I followed them. They stopped right in front of the mechanical bull to watch the city slickers try to ride the thing and debate if they wanted to give it a try.
These two young bull riders were taking a break from riding real bulls in the barn next door.
Their names are Matthew Hoffman and Justin Koch; they are cousins from Paris, Tennessee. They were sweet, kind and well mannered, like any Southern country boys would be. One of their fathers told me this was the biggest fair they had ever been to and it made him a bit nervous. He said he was going to ask them to take off their hats tonight, if they stroll the midway again. He said, “yep, they are country, through and through. “
I wonder if they thought it a bit odd when I stopped them and asked to take their picture? I am sure glad I did, it’s a classic. You can take the boys out of the country, but you cant take the country out of the boys.