For the Labor Day weekend, my Sner flew in, and we made our way to southwest Missouri to visit with my GrandSner. She’s been in a nursing home for five years or so, and while she has been declining (she’s going to be 89 in October), she’s been OK. Her memory has been going and now she doesn’t much know who we are, but overall, she’s been OK. Until the last 6 weeks or so. In the last 6 weeks. she’s had to be hospitalized several times due to dehydration – she doesn’t remember to drink. So, the family gathered to see her – maybe for a last time, maybe not. I shared some photos from our trip here and here.
For Photo Friday I’m bringing you more photos from the Billings Community Fair, but specifically from the tractor pull. I actually had to ask my Sner what a tractor pull was. I knew it had been a part of the fair since forever, but we never attended it. Sner and I were trying to puzzle out why – her theories were that by the time the pull started, Grandpa was a wee bit intoxicated (probably true), she and GrandSner were exhausted because they had been helping with exhibits and manning a craftor’s booth (also probably true), and my brother and I were crashing from the non-stop sugar & adrenaline rushes we had been on all day (also probably true). I think, though, I hit on the real reason when Sner and I walked up to the gate and were asked to pay an entrance fee.
While there was always enough money in the budget for a day at the fair…although my brother and I knew that any additional “treats” beyond our ride tickets were going to depend on how the sales were going at the craft booth…when you add an entrance fee (probably $5.00 back then and probably still today) for two kids, probably two adults (because it wasn’t the wisest idea to leave Grandpa in charge that late into the day. It wasn’t unusual for us to wind up taking off on a wild, adventurous – for us – ride through the night in his van, ending God only knows where…once it was Arkansas), it was a good bet that we weren’t going in. Depending on the number of entrants, the pulls could go on into the night. Tired kids, hungry kids, tired parents = no fun.
There was an impressive array of machinery in the field waiting to be weighed and inspected before the event. Because I was only taking pictures, the man at the gate let us in without paying the entrance fee. I had absolutely no idea that tractor pulling was such a HUGE deal. Some of these modified machines are beautiful pieces of work with no doubt, thousands of dollars invested into their improvements. When we saw semi-trucks and car haulers with corporate sponsorships, we knew that this wasn’t just a small town event.
This was one of the “plainer” machines on the lot. Note, though, the roll cage to protect the driver in case the weight gets too great and the tractor winds up tipping arse over tit. Participants are strapped in and wear safety gear, including helmets and fire retardant suits.
Right next door to Raised Red was his wilder brother.
The tractor pull isn’t just for tractors, though. There is a truck pull as well, and as tricked out and pretty as the tractors are, the trucks are even more so. Even though there was plenty of light left, they had started checking in trucks and tractors directly behind us. My Sner has an inhalation injury which makes it very difficult for her to breathe on a regular, every day basis, but it’s even worse when you combine it with heat (& we got really hot…too hot for her) and exhaust fumes (which were part of what caused her injury initially). So I snapped a few pictures and then we were on our way.
Funny enough, we actually passed this one on the road as we were passing through the cities along Highways 60 & 63 (one of which is Koshkonong).
I might have liked to stay and see a few of the pulls because like I said – we never stayed, but by that time, I too was hot and tired. Plus there was a promise of a funnel cake on the way out, and really, why else do you go to the fair if not for a funnel cake?
Have you been to your local fair this year? Or do you have fun memories of childhood fairs? Or have you been to a tractor or truck pull? Tell me about it in the comments!
Photo Friday Link-Up
Welcome to another edition of the Photo Friday link-up! I love that we come together here each week to share our photos and support each other. I confess I haven’t made it around to all of your posts from last week, but I’ve set aside a block of time to do that this coming weekend. I didn’t properly account for how tired I was going to be – how much emotional energy this trip would take and how much time it would take me to cover this week. I’m so heartened to know that y’all worked hard at making your way around to each other during the week.
Our last-added link last week came from Lana at Kid Can Doodle. If you haven’t checked her posts out, they are fabulous not only for kids but adults as well. Make sure you take a minute and head her direction!
Now we are ready for this week – show me what you’ve been up to!