Wednesday, the gates open for the California Mid-State Fair.
The fair dates its beginnings to 1946, when an Atascadero man, the late Gordon Davis, put together a rodeo. The event was originally known as the San Luis Obispo County Fair and was part of a statewide network of fairs and expositions. As the state has pulled back its funding for fairs, our little fair pretty much pays for itself through year-round rentals of the grounds and buildings.I like the long-standing fair motto: “The biggest little fair anywhere.”
Today the fair is a major entertainment venue featuring overly loud musicians and singers, high-priced food and, fortunately, thousands of animals groomed by area 4-H and FFA members. The fair is governed by a board of directors appointed by the governor. The current president of that board, which consists of nine members, is Robert Boneso, who has ties to Atascadero, as does the board’s vice president, Robert Lilley.
Although the general public can’t get in until noon, when everything from the commercial booths to the carnival rides opens, the 4-H and FFA horse show and poultry shows begin at 8 a.m.
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In looking over Wednesday’s schedule, I see that the egg-judging contest begins at 3 p.m. in the Ponderosa Pavilion. How do you tell a good egg from a bad one? In humans, a “good egg” is usually a nice person, responsible, friendly and enjoyable to be around.
But in eggs, well, they are all about the same shape except they come in small, medium, large and extra large. There is even a jumbo class of eggs, but in this day and age, being “jumbo” isn’t a good thing.
Sometimes you get two yolks in a single shell. That is usually a good thing, hinting at good luck; at least for that day.
Often eggs are cracked in the shipping and packaging stages. You aren’t supposed to see those in the department store. I had a route of about 20 customers to whom I sold cracked eggs while I was in high school. A flock of laying hens was my FFA project.
If I had been left alone to do what I wanted when I went to college, I think the egg would be vastly improved today. As a senior project at Poly, I was going to try to reshape the fallopian tubes of the hen, which would eventually result in the laying of square eggs. They’d be easier to package and they wouldn’t roll off the counter.
Fortunately it was suggested in about my sophomore year that I switch my major to a subject where I couldn’t hurt anything, like something in the liberal arts.