Farewell to the Fair

If 300,000 people attended Glenn Beck’s rally in Washington today, as NBC News estimated, the crowd was a little larger than the one at the Minnesota State Fair. At the Fairgrounds, entertainment rather than redemption was the order of the day. This was the only radio broadcast that Brian Ward and I will do from the Fair this year, as we will both be out of town next weekend. So we tried to make the most of it, with a full lineup of guests.
Perhaps the most entertaining was a guy whose family has owned something called “Ye Olde Mill,” a rather sedate ride that he described as a tunnel of love, since 1913. There was a couple in the audience who got engaged on the ride; our guest says it happens a few times every year. This photo was shot during that interview:
The Patriot’s booth was tinkered with during the off-season to accommodate a new pub, O’Gara’s at the Fair, just a few steps away. Nothing wrong with that, but one effect of the remodel is that we are now sitting in the sun rather than the shade. So Brian and I borrowed hats from the audience. One guy had a straw Stetson but didn’t want to lend it to me.
We also had Princess Kay of the Milky Way, representing Minnesota’s dairy industry. She was a lot of fun–her name is Katie, which is pretty close. Katie has an excellent sense of humor and will represent the dairy industry well over the coming year.
We did a phone interview with Claire Berlinski, talking about the paperback release of her book There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters. This was intended to be our only effort at seriousness, but here too, humor took over. Claire was on a bus in New York, and had been, apparently, for some hours. The interview was interrupted by the bus driver on her end and by a bagpiper on ours. But Claire is a fun-loving sort and the result was entertaining.
The climax, of course, was our annual Scotch egg eating contest. Why anyone would eat a Scotch egg, let alone wolf one down in competitive style, is beyond me. But every year we have volunteers. This year they included Duane Patterson, Hugh Hewitt’s producer; Ed Morrissey–who, paraphrasing Sherman, said “I will not eat,” but did; a ringer whose middle name was McTavish; the Atomizer; one intrepid woman; and a couple more. In this photo, Brian is interviewing the young woman from the Scotch egg booth who furnished the eggs, while Duane contemplates his egg in what seems a mournful manner, reminiscent of the Gravedigger:
In this photo, the contest is in full swing. It isn’t pretty. The Atomizer has been brought to his knees. The McTavish guy won, after picking up a good-sized piece of seasoned pork sausage that fell on the ground, but it was a photo finish. In the end, it usually comes down to who can swallow–some would say, choke down–the last bite, first.
Hugh Hewitt sat in with us for a segment and, near the end of the show, heckled Brian and me mercilessly, accusing us of the crime of bad radio. I actually think that a lot of our listeners are interested in pivot irrigation systems. Here, Hugh holds court during a break. Note how beautiful women are predictably drawn to radio talk show hosts:
My youngest daughter took this picture of the Fair’s Midway area–that’s where the rides are–on the way up the Space Tower:
So it is farewell to the Fair for this year.