This will not be the most detailed of My Town Monday posts, but hopefully in the coming weeks I'll have more time to research and get back in the groove. For this week I'm going to give MTM a more personal slant and take y'all for a trip down my memory lane.
This past weekend the Potter County Junior Livestock show was held at the Amarillo Tri-State fairgrounds. This is a yearly event where 4H and FFA kids bring the animals they've raised for the sake of competition. Steers, Swine, Sheep, Goats, and Rabbits.
Once upon a time I was one of those kids, and as I walked around the stock show this weekend the memories were plentiful.
I remembered how the rough texture of a griddle brick left my fingers tips raw and sore as I used it to groom my pig.
I remembered being so tired from all that work involved that I didn't think twice about climbing inside my hog's pen and using him for a pillow when I wanted to catch a quick nap before showtime. (For the record the pig had been bathed using this oh so fragrant hand soap called Fast Orange so there was no smell.)
I remembered the friendship and camaraderie before and after entering the show ring.
I remembered the competitive tunnel vision I felt once in the ring.
I remembered the sense of pride when my animal placed high, the sense of regret for the work I should have done but didn't when it didn't place so well.
As I thought back on those days, I realized that many of the lessons I learned back, still apply today. Raising and showing animals is about responsibility, dedication, hard work, and just rewards.
Then I remembered how mad I used to get when one of my fellow competitors back-doored their way into success. Some of their parents did all the work while the kid did nothing. Some times a particular judge would have a blindside for the cute little girls with ribbons in their hair, or the cute high school girls with tight fitting Rockies. Some parents spent a fortune buying animals for their offspring and bought success for their kids.
My family never had the funds for that and my mom was too busy trying to earn a living as a single parent to get up at six in the morning and bust ice out of my animals water trough. I never looked good in either a hair bow or a pair of tight fitting Rockies, so yeah, I hated to see others find success through those methods. But guess what, that too taught me a few things about the nature of the world. Life isn't rarely fair but all you can do is plug along and do your thing.
And I was fortunate to do okay. I've blogged in the past about my success showing pigs. I only hope that some of the kids I saw showing this weekend will find the same kind of success and look back as fondly on their show experience as I do.
And if you've never attended one of these shows, look up the dates for your area and check one out. Most parts of the country have some sort of FFA or 4H program and the kids that put the work in for months on end deserve accolades.
Here's a shot of SPOT, the recipient of my most recent tattooing efforts.
And for those of that missed my post back in 2007 about my pig showing experiences, here is a picture of yours truly as a rosy-cheeked high school senior, circa 1991.
Chris and Junosmom have done a stupendous job of keeping My Town Monday alive in my absence and I really appreciate their efforts and if they so choose, I want them to continue listing the links as well. Way I figure, the broader exposure for everyone who participates the better, but please drop me an email or a comment if you post so I can get your link up. And Chris and Junosmom, I understand that a good deal of work goes into keeping up with the links so please don't feel obligated.
LINKS TO OTHER MY TOWN MONDAY POSTS
Jenn Jilks --Flaps her wings in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.
Cloudia -- Shows us a few great things about Hawaii.
Barrie Summy -- Does a bit of BUMming around in San Diego, California.
Mary Nix -- Takes us through the woods at Olmsted Falls, Ohio.
Debra -- Warms things up with a look at the Village of Peninsula, Ohio.
Junosmom -- Is chugging along about her Kentucky town's hidden secrets.
Chris -- Rings in the Chinese New Year from ... you guessed it Hong Kong, China.
Kristina -- Posts from the wrong side of the tracks in Kentucky.
Barbara Martin -- Is quacking this week about Toronto, Canada.
David Cranmer -- Freely admits he's the second most famous person from Freeville, New York.
Chuck -- Takes us between the lanes in his Kentucky town.
Terrie Farley Moran -- Settles in at North Fort Myers, Florida.
Patti Abbott -- Rings the bell of truth about a movie set in her town, Detroit, Michigan.
J Winter -- From the comfort of his Cincinnati, Ohio home J tells us what he won't do for My Town Monday.
D -- Jumps aboard the My Town Monday train with an introduction to Cloquet, Minnesota
Passage Of Woman -- Does her part to preserve a bit of Kingston, Tennessee.
Lauren -- Offers up a look at Chicago, Illinois wild side -- The Lincoln Park Zoo.
Wendy Pinkston Cebula -- Dishes up a post on Springfield, Missouri