Thursday, August 04, 2011

4-H memories

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, summers were all about getting ready for the Jackson County Fair in Black River Falls, WI. So when I found out the County Fair back home was starting today, I got all nostalgic. And with 4-H celebrating 75th years at the County Fair this year, my Mom called and told me I was in one of the archival 4-H pictures (left) in the local newspaper this week.
I was chosen in 1972 for State 4-H Congress and to represent Jackson County in a 4-H trip to Washington DC. That's me ~ top row ~ far right ~ mouth awkwardly open.
The DC trip was in 1973, I was 16 years old and I had the time of my life with my friend Patty Lien (to my right). I sent her an email today, hoping to reconnect after 35 years. So excited to hear back from her and catch up!
I remember we left WI in one of those fancy charter buses and I slept on the floor under the seats.
I remember it was a big deal when we drove by the Watergate Hotel.
I remember getting off the ferryboat at Mount Vernon and being handed this amazing box lunch that we enjoyed on the lawn.
I remember the hoards of people trying to catch a glimpse of Ling-Ling & Hsing-Hsing at the National Zoo.
I remember when I got home, a tornado had uprooted the biggest oak tree on the farm, barely missing the house.
Patty & I are in the 2nd row from the bottom

Our 4-H club was called the Northfield Go-Getters. (circa 1970)

My sisters Ginny & Kathy and my brother Gary
showing off their many Fair exhibits...

... before loading them in the trunk.

Checking out the cattle at the 4-H Tour before Fair time.

This is the 4-H Food Stand at our County Fair.
We'd all have to take shifts working it throughout the 4-day Fair.
But let's be honest, it was all about getting our hot carmel popcorn fix each year.
The carmel popcorn lady always set up her trailer and served the most amazing hot carmel
 drizzled over freshly popped popcorn. You literally had to eat it with a spoon.
And when you got down to the bottom of the bag,
you were treated with spoonfuls of access carmel. Yes. Divine decadence.
I really didn't care how my exhibits fared ~ it was all about the hot carmel popcorn!

My sister Ginny after the garment judging ~ a blue ribbon winner!

That's me ~ not so much a blue ribbon winner.
We had to make a knitting bucket made from a cardboard oatmeal box,
then wrap it in contact paper with a yarn puff on top.
As a kid, I was pretty dang proud of myself.

I made many shift dresses and dirndl skirts in my early years of sewing.
Little did I know that pulling threads to gather is probably not a good choice for beginners.

When I was 14 (1971) I was one of two girls chosen to be a delegate at the Wisconsin State Fair Dress Revue.
I remember modeling that dress a lot that week... and never wanting to wear that dress ever again.
And yes, I still have that dress. You can read the story HERE.

I remember seeing The Carpenters and actually touching their limo as they were being whisked away after the concert.

And you may remember this story, about reuniting with Cindy (to my left) after 35 years. Her son and DIL who live in PHX, had a baby girl yesterday and Cindy will be coming for another visit. Can't wait to see her again!

* Be sure to clic each pic to enlarge for better viewing.


Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

OMG Linda,
What a great post! You have so many good pics too! I was going to let you know too about the pic in the paper, I thought that was you!
I spent so many hours working in tht 4-H stand...what a hoot to see the pics!
And I made many a dirdl skirt as well!
What a trip down memory lane..thanks friend, I will think of you while I am at the fair today.
See ya soon, I will call you!!!

Karen said...

This brings back wonderful memories. Two of my sons were 4-Hers and I was a leader during those years. We even started a club and for 4 years sponsored ag tours through Mexico. Great memories and fantastic kids... who we are still in touch with.
Thanks for sharing so many good memories about your 4-H career!
Ladybug Creek

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

My kids were in the Merrill Busy Bees 4H. Great memories!

NanAZ said...

Fun stuff Linda. I know we had 4-H around our little Ohio town, but never was involved in it. I do have a photo (somewhere) very similar to yours at the Capital of my 8th grade class trip to Washington DC. I loved that trip and have always loved DC.

Nancy Hann said...

For some reason my Wordpress login isn't working. I'm trying this as a test.