I’m getting impatient with my own story. There’s so much to tell, but I want it to make sense. Stuff pops into my head. I capture it by texting myself. So, I have all of these random “that happened” thoughts to share, but I want it to make sense. So, I have to go slowly.
I could go on about how many county fairs, car races and parades we shared. I didn’t really understand The Danbury State Fair, and I think I only went twice while living in Connecticut. It wasn’t until years later headed towards my 30th high school reunion that I began seeing remembrance posts from my school mates. Truly, I had no idea there was stock car racing and or such an avid fan base in Danbury.
The main reasons we went were Jeff was 4-H proud, was an officer in his club, had been to national conference, and they made for some inexpensive, long, hand-holding dates.
I learned a lot about animal competitions and tractor pulls, because Jeff was knowledgeable, truly. He led me through the histories of events, told stories of the most outstanding things he’d seen. He enjoyed being the teacher, and I was captivated.
We’d travel around Jackson, Lenawee, Ottawa, Fulton counties. We had our own little circuit that included rodeos, too. I was already a rodeo fan, had attended many PBR events, and had a little something in knowledge to offer back.
Long before I’d met Jeff, I had made plans to attend the 1998 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas with a girl friend from New Jersey. After 2 months of full-time, never-missed a-weekend dating, I flew off for a long weekend and flew back with a souvenir.
Ball caps; Jeff had many. The NFR hat was my first gift to Jeff. Remember, I’d already received flowers and a squash. Thinking about it now, I guess you could say I’d made reciprocity a must in my own mind. Jeff had a collection, so I knew he’d like and probably use a hat. Would he like the particular one I’d chosen? I had no idea.
His enthusiastic response tickled me. “This is nice!” he exclaimed, immediately removing the Dale Earnhardt hat he usually wore, replacing it with the new.
But, then, he just kept standing there with a hat in hand and a hat on his head, rather intensely staring at me.
“You thought about me,” he said with a grin, “…while you were away!”
And that’s how I learned the real value of gifts.
Quote of the Week:
(PS – Jeff took these photos at Charlotte Frontier Days with a disposable camera and knack for good timing. In 1999, I ran them through a rudimentary photo edit program. I have the originals… somewhere.)
Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:
The 4-H Pledge: http://4-hhistorypreservation.com/History/M-C-P/
Fair-ing 2016: http://www.mishows.com/fairs_expos.html