Without a doubt, I must be in my second childhood!
After all, it is almost County Fair time in Nebraska. My favorite time of the year.
Isn’t it strange how time changes your perspective of a time and occasion?
Truthfully, I don’t recall attending a County or State Fair until I first belonged to a 4-H Club, around the age of 10 or 11.
I entered some exhibits in the fair the first year I was a 4-H member. I recall receiving two red and a white ribbon on my sewing exhibits.
 I was also entered in the dress revue. On the day of the revue, Dad decided that was the day we had to dig the potatoes!
It took me a long time to realize my parents were trying to save me a great deal of embarrassment by being “too busy” to go to the fair!
Yes, I was very disappointed to have to dig potatoes and miss the dress revue, but I survived. Many years later, I was happy we had potatoes to keep me home on that day.
You see, I had not tried on the cotton slip I had made to wear with my dress. Many years later, I took that slip out of an old cardboard box and burst into laughter. That thing wouldn’t have fit a Barbie doll, let alone, me!
Flat felled seams were required and that slip got smaller and smaller as I tried to get the seams right! I had cut the slip smaller and smaller in my quest of perfection.
Later projects and fairs were more successful.
 I met my husband through my leader’s (and future mother-in-law) 4-H Club.  I won a trip to National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago – not with my sewing, but judging the skills of other people’s sewing.
We were 4-H leaders, later. Our three children didn’t have a choice. They were also 4-H members. 4-H was and is, important in their lives, also
After our own kids had flown the coop, we loved to take our grandchildren to fairs. Today, Ken takes his granddaughter to 4-H Shooting Sport events, even the National one held recently in Grand Island.
During my years of working for newspapers, I loved covering the 4-H events of Cass and Otoe County fairs and occasionally, the State Fair.
For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of writing the stories for the Otoe County Pioneer and Heritage Farm awards given each year by AkSarBen.
This year, Wade and Sue Nutzman, Reese Properties, LLC, and Reinhold and Mary Teten will be honored.
In recent weeks, I have been visiting with the recipients by phone and in person. I have learned many interesting and inspiring things about the pioneers that smoothed the path before us.
Bravery, strength, tenacity and love of the land is a common thread of the families. Their hands and hearts are worked into the soil and in one instance, the wish for one of them to be buried on the land was honored.
This year, will be a special “fair” year for our family. It is the 50th year of the Cass County Fair being held at the rural Weeping Water site.
Merle was on the Fair Board during those years. Our family, along with many other Cass County families spent the summer of 1967, busily preparing 40 acres of farmland for that first fair.
Each year has brought new improvements as the Cass County Fairgrounds have reached the pinnacle of success they enjoy.
This year, on the 50th anniversary, a new gateway entry from Hwy #1 will be dedicated.
It will be “dedicated in memory of Merle R. Buell, farmer, 4-H leader, fair board member and innovator by friends and family.”
I think we should have added “lover of county fairs!”