NEW CASTLE —
SHOWING THEIR ANIMALS
Dawn was 7 when she first showed her pet pig at the fair.
Great-granddaughter Savannah Palmer, 8, continued the tradition Monday, showing her lamb, Buttercup.
Today it will be granddaughter Kelsey Okon with her lamb.
Four great-grandchildren — Ryan Palmer, Sydney Andrews, Jack Andrews and Turk Davis — will be involved in the peewee showmanship class with their pigs tomorrow.
And like always, Virginia will be there for all of it.
Although she has been at every fair, Virginia is the only one never to have participated. She was too busy making sure the others were ready and able.
“I don’t get around like I used to,” she said. Yet you can still find her swimming in the family’s pool when she has a mind to join her grandson, Ryan.
But all the growing in the Harman family isn’t confined to children and animals. Virginia still manages her own garden of tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage and lettuce.
“I couldn’t bend over any more so they raised the garden for me,” said Virginia, who recently attended a Mount Jackson class of 1938 reunion.
Some of her kids built a platform about 18 inches high and put a garden on top of it so that Virginia more easily work it.
BEFORE THE FAIRGROUNDS
Virginia remembers the Lawrence County Fair before there was a fairgrounds. She says things have changed a lot since the event was held at the Rick Farm.
“Everything was in tents,” she recalled. “But it’s has gotten much bigger. And like everything else, it’s more expensive.”
But for some things price just isn’t an obstacle, and Virginia can’t wait to wrap her lips around a hot sausage sandwich, one of the fair’s many staples.
The sights, smells, sounds and tastes of fair week remain a treasure to her senses.
This will be the first time that Harmans are not showing dairy cows, and Dawn is a bit relieved. “Dairy cows require 24/7 care and attention,” she said. “We’ll have much more free time this year.”
The fair and the values and traditions that it stands continue to draw the Harmans. “Kids just don’t seem to have the work ethic that we did,” said Dawn.
“My mother is a very strong woman and she taught us so much, said Dawn. “She gave us a faith in God and a strong work ethic. She taught us to put others first.”
“And each year there are fewer and fewer farm families,” said Dawn.