Life’s Reflections: Preparing Oneself Again For Darke Fair Coverage

Here is a photo from last year where Jennifer Peck was posthumously honored by her siblings, JoEllen and Jeff, in song at the Gazebo. (Linda Moody file photo)

I keep wondering if I am making the right decision in covering another Great Darke County Fair.

I love the nine-day event, but the older I get, I am thinking I should slow down. In fact, I started slowing down a couple of years ago because of a knee issue.

What’s happening to me now? These old bones, legs, and feet are wreaking havoc on my young-ish (is that a word?) body.

I don’t mean to complain, and everybody knows I love the county fair, but I just don’t want to make a commitment and not be able to fulfill it if something should go awry with me and cause me an embarrassing situation.

Besides, my son Jamie loves going to it too. He can walk it better than I can.

My favorite part of the fair is reuniting with friends and family on the days of my attendance there. I wish I could name all of the people I made friends with at the fair over the years. I used to like the food and drinks, but I find it safe nowadays to stray away from those things because I am not sure if I could make it to the ladies’ room in time.

That’s a scary thought..and quite embarrassing, too, if it should happen.

I’ve said it before, I have only missed one fair, and that was 23 years ago when I had my right kidney removed. I had the surgery on Aug. 11 (Hulk Hogan’s birthday..just ask Jamie) and got home on the first day of the fair that year.

It was also when Ansonia friend, Bob Curtis, who is no longer with us, called me and asked me if I wanted to go to the fair and go  Bungee Jumping with him. Of course, I refused because I wouldn’t even walk through that big of a crowd with all of the pain I was going through. He thought it was funny….and I guess it was.

A feature was done on Jim Buchy with the photo used with the article taken at the south end of the racetrack, which always draws a crowd during fair week. (Linda Moody file photo)

Not only did I start attending the fair when I got my reporter’s job at the local newspaper many moons ago, we went there with our family and met other family members there and had like a carry-in/picnic on the grounds where our various vehicles were parked in the “good old days.”

Besides, I extend a lot of appreciation to the founders of the celebration, as my parents, Lee Jr. Moody and Beatrice (Riffell) Moody, met there, I am guessing in 1945 before Dad went into the Army because Mom left behind the letters he sent her from abroad when she passed away.

They were married on Sept. 5, 1946, so that’s why I’m guessing the year when they met.
I started going to the fairgrounds during my newspaper career about a year before I became a reporter on the street. Before that, I was a proofreader/teletype setter, and page layout person, and sometimes took ads to get proofread at various businesses in the area.

I went out to the fair with former co-worker Joanne Lehman, who was the society editor, and she showed me the ropes…not knowing I would end up doing some of that work the next fair, or so, later.

I’ve covered a lot of things over the years, but not the harness races or tractor pulls. I reported on the 4-H and FFA members’ handiwork in the Youth Building; the flower shows held twice that week; been to the domestic arts, fine arts grange, and Grange buildings; the parade; various animal judgings; and lots of entertainment, but not many of the top concerts because I sometimes took Sundays off from the fair to rest up for the rest of the busy week.

In addition, I still did feature stories on people and activities that happen there each year.  Did I mention that was a good time to get ideas for other future stories in and around the county post-fair week?

I love the food, but can’t handle certain things because of the diet I should be on in this life.

Senior citizens gathered around when they were treated to a free lunch on Monday at the Great Darke County Fair last year. (Linda Moody file photo)

Yes, Jamie and I are dieting right now, and I will be interested in what Jamie is going to choose to eat there. He loves, you know, the good stuff, pizza (especially Kemo’s when they were there), and the burritos that were at Danny’s Place across from the north end of the Youth Building…not to mention ice cream or lemonade.

What’d I give for some waffles, elephant ears, and French fries, but those are definitely out of the question. And I remember Mom always liking the fudge that was sold in the Coliseum.

I guess I will just walk past these trailers and food stands and take in the aroma and dream, but then I remember my legs won’t let me. I’m a winner!

I just hope Jamie won’t give in to temptation.

Yes, I would miss it if I didn’t go, so I will do my best again by taking things in stride and pack up my fair “gear,” and just hope that I  persevere.

But don’t think anything of it if the rescue squad gets called out to a certain area and wants heavy-lifting assistance. It will probably just be me. I will be the one with the red face and limping…if I don’t break anything.

I am definitely putting this, once again, in God’s hands.

I hope to see you at the fair this year if all goes well.


Jamie and I extend our condolences to the families and friends of Vanna Hannam Abbott, Linda L. Mead, Patricia Oler, James Dale Baker, Jerry “J.T.” Tingley, Betty Sease, and Kenneth Landis.


Please pray for these people: Steve Waymire, Allison “Ally” Miller, Mary Lou Runner, Grace Boyd, Jason Stover Jr., Jeff Brocious, Jamie Knick, Dan Lockhart, Jenny Pitman, Nikole Baldridge, Chester Bryant, Melinda (Batten) Stacy, Michelle Young, Tommy Farmer, Margaret Hoening, Manual Macias, Kathy McNutt Dapore, Lester Beisner, Delores Beisner, Kermit Foureman, Chuck “C.W.” Cruze, Mark Lovejoy, Connie Buemi Hodson, Michelle Grottle Wright, Cheryl Slonaker Gilmore, Judy York, Donald Booker, Dennis Leeper, Connie Stachler, Randy Heck, Ronnie Norton, Marie Schlechty, Jeremy “Jerm” Burke, Bev Brumbaugh, Gary Eichler, David Pretzman, Clinton Randall, Linda Lore, Ralph Byrd, Doug Winger, Rusty Maloy, Debbie Mayse, Sonja and Dan Coppess, Jeanie Francis, Harvey Hinshaw, Bruce Kaiser, Amanda Mote, Gary Francis, Anthony and Theresa Grillot, Lee Everhart, Paul Gigandet, Doug Whittington, Tracy Pratt, Kinley Bernard, D’Arleen Waymire, Tish Hodson Shepherd, Zach Urbancic.

Also, Sharon Gamster, John Rimmer, Joan Keen, Carol Hemmerich, Sharon Hummel, Dave Hinshaw, Larry P. Fitzwater, Jim Thomas, Neal Gray, Michael Mowery, Kenny Edwards, Judie Hathaway, Della Burch, Ned and Brenda Wallace, Rick Marker, Randy Garrison,  Warren Menchhofer, Jannie Barrow, Kathy Gragorace, Danny Foster, Noella Combs, Becky Everhart, Becky Oliver, Jayden Martin, Stefani Priest, Steve Neff, James Enicks, Joann Freeman, Cathy Collins Peters, Donna Bixler, Linda Subler, Roger McEowen, Sally Burnett Ganger, Gloria Hodge, Jeff Baltes, Judy Hoffman and daughter Shelly, Cathy Melling, Scott Clark, and all of those who are suffering from other life-altering illnesses.


Happy birthday:  

Aug. 8 to Ty Gasper and Dick Billenstein.

Aug. 9 to Kathy Wagner, Jason Billenstein, Lisa Parsons Miller, Adia Brooks, Kim  Ward, Steve Garland, Carrie Stachler-Robbins, and Robin  Grice.  

Aug. 10 to Tom Lawson, Krista Widener, Keith “Slick” Schlechty, Tammy Subler Morrison, Tonya Blocher, Gwen Tinkle, Janet Webb, and Ryan Cox.

Aug. 11 to Stanley Duncan, Gary Middleton, Michele Arthur, Lois Fowble, Chris Miller, Diane Barga, and Linda D. Moore.

Aug. 12 to Debbie Nestor Baker, Paul Hartzell, Jordon Wright, and Mike

 Aug. 13 to Sondra Shiverdecker White, Rick Hadden, Brad Albritton, Mattie Hiestand, Brittany Ulman, twins Ross and Grace Dapore, Troy May, T.J. Phlipot, and Lane Clark.

Aug. 14 to Bonnie Wagner, Amber Neal, Therese Pohlman, Dennis Pratt, Theresa Siefring, Brad Lentz, Don Short, Janet Bolin and Roxie Thornhill.

Happy anniversary to Hugh and Melinda Linebaugh on Aug. 10; Randy and Mindy Ward on Aug. 11; and Tom and Shila Magoto and Doug and Carol Riffle, all on Aug. 12.


Think about it: “The audience never asks for an encore when you sing your own praises.” — Author Unknown