As a young child, one of the first full passages of Scripture I was expected to learn and recite was the listing of the Ten Commandments. Today I would like to draw your attention to the tenth and final commandment, "Thou shalt not covet...anything that belongs to thy neighbor" (Exodus 20:17, KJV).
I confess that I am guilty of that one, guilty of coveting something that belongs to my neighbor. No, it's not his house, his wife, his paycheck, or his free weekends and holidays off from work.
It's his county fair.
|The Fayette County Multipurpose Complex, home to the Fayette County Fair.|
I covet these things. Ohhhh, how I covet. (photo courtesy of alafarmnews.com)
While we have several really good single-day festivals scattered around Lamar County (Old Fashion Day, Scarecrow Festival, etc.), to my knowledge we don't have that one really big event that everyone from Detroit to Kennedy can take ownership of. As hot as our county's school football rivalries run, it would be kind of nice to bring everyone together for a few evenings in mid-October to eat funnel cake and ride the Ferris wheel. It might even lead to some kids putting down their electronic gadgets for a while to pick up a livestock halter.
I have very distinct memories of showing dairy heifers at fairs and 4H competitions in Fayette, Tuscaloosa, and Birmingham. But the fondest memories are from the shows held in the Lamar County Showbarn on Hwy 17 just south of Vernon. Why? Because it gave me an opportunity to interact with kids from other parts of the county, and because it was our home show. As it stands, my kids won't get that same chance to show cows on their home turf because the showbarn is now home to county equipment and piles of gravel.
So I guess what I'm arguing for is both a county fair and a nice facility to host it. Fayette County has those things thanks to a lot of forethought and smart decision-making, and I covet what they have. We can have those things too if enough of us are willing to work toward bringing them to Lamar County, and you can count me among those ready to roll up their sleeves and make it happen.
Our county spent years and plenty of money chasing the Great White Whale known as "the reservoir". Let's now put our energy and resources toward something we know we can achieve, and before long we can enjoy strolling past pens and stables of livestock while munching on a fried Twinkie without having to go to our neighbor's house to do it.