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Posted 8/23/16 (Tue)

One more county fair and one more story.
This weekend it was the Harding County Fair in Camp Crook.
It still is one of the best fairs in the country. And unlike the state fairs, you can just let the kids roam free. Bicycles roam the streets and kids can walk in and out of the bar and charge a can of pop to their dad or mother. Nobody drives over 10 mph and everyone watches out for everyone’s kids.
They show calves that vary from 200 lbs. to 1,200 lbs. The sheep vary in size from 60 lbs. to 160. There were two hogs. One was a giant boar. The other one was different. Rabbits, chickens, and goats. And every kid had a smile at the premium sale.
Rumor has it that at the Corner Bar, on Friday night, there was a big fat cowboy with a bad back that rocked the dance floor until one in the morning. I wouldn’t dare say, but I know my back was in bad shape on Saturday morning! Don’t tell Shirley. She retired early.
Each day when the fair winds down, kids jump on bikes and head for the bridge over the Little Missouri just out of town. I mean this is like a Norman Rockwell painting. A rope hanging from the bridge and kids squealing and bailing into the river.
A few years ago we went fishing there. Fishing is using the term loosely. We had three rods. A “Barbie Doll” pink, a “Tigger” orange, and a wore-out blue one. Between the three rods we had one hook.
Since Gage was doing the casting, we soon decided that one hook was too many and removed it. It was more of a rock skipping, moss gathering, peanut butter sandwich kind of day than actually fishing.
Now you have to remember that Gage was less than two, and Gracy was five. Brave little ranch kids. But after a couple hours I went off into the willows. While I was there a bear attacked me! Shirley and the kids could hear me screaming and see the willows thrashing around. Oh, it was an epic struggle. Finally, the bear got the best of me and there was complete silence.
The kids kept hollering for their Grandpa. Meantime, I had escaped from the bear and began to crawl around behind them on my belly. Now, trust me, even on my belly I still stick up a fair bit. But I did get around them.
As I peeked out of the tall grass, Gracy was carrying a five foot long piece of driftwood. Gage was carrying a big rock. They were edging closer and closer to the willows where the bear had devoured their Grandpa.
Suddenly I let out a roar and charged from the willows. Gracy dropped her club, and with eyes larger than her head, raced for Grandma. Gage tried to move, but was stuck between gears and could only scream. His rock proved a worthless weapon against a bear attack as he dropped it on his foot.
I was rolling on the ground with laughter. Till Grandma picked up that five foot piece of driftwood and whacked that bear across the back.
Note to self. Grandma is not scared of bears.
Reminds me of a story Grandpa Jack used to tell. This guy came across this old mountain man sitting outside his cabin. Inside was a heck of a ruckus going on. He asked what was happening. The mountain man said a bear was in the cabin fighting his wife. And he had never seen a fight that he cared less about the outcome!