Saturday, September 10, 2011

Corn and Community

The Corn Festival is held at the fairgrounds the first weekend after Labor Day each year.  There are various fall festivals in small towns and rural areas all over this great country of ours.  It's a great time to catch up with friends, meet new folks, and see some of our local heritage.

Many local farmers take time to compare notes, converse about the weather, and think about the upcoming harvest.  Some talk country smack with friendly challenges for the antique tractor pull.

Agriculture is still a big source, maybe the biggest source of income in this county.  Our rural county was previously home to the DHL/Airborne Express Air Park.  DHL purchased Air Borne Express, closed up shop, and shuttered about 15,000 related jobs around here.  This county was in a recession and that was a year before the economy tanked in 2008 and things really went down hill.

So it's good to see things like the local Corn Festival still happening when our unemployment in this county is over twice the national average.  It's good to see old friends and familiar faces smiling, chatting, and enjoying grilled corn on the cob.

The maple syrup smells good as it steams and cooks down.  You'd hardly know around here that about every third house you pass has a "For Sale" sign in front of it or that every Thursday the local paper is half-again larger than usual to list all the foreclosures.  Around the festival there's good eats, kids playing... checking out the petting zoo, and old friends.

You see a lot of patriotism, hear some discussion of tomorrow's significance.  Folks stop and tip their hats, shake a hand in thanks, and kids salute a young man in uniform... home on leave, visiting the folks, and checking out the corn festival's sights, sounds, and aromas.

There are a lot of signs of what makes this the greatest country in the world.  You see the products of years past that show American ingenuity, sweat, pride.  You see folks that know we still have it.  There might be some dirt on the tires and some rust on the metal, but things keep running right along.  Folks around here seem to be resilient in tough times.

Life around here may not look so bright, but it doesn't stop as most folks pull together and help each other out... and as a man gives a grilled ear of corn to a young fellow whose mama just told him they didn't have money for that.  You realize that for a lot of country folks... for a lot of Americans... things look a bit brighter when you're spending the day enjoying a little corn and community.

The gals and I had a terrific day...


  1. Don't worry, Obama just gave a big jobs speech.

    Your neck of the woods sounds much like mine. Nuthin' but corn and beans here. Miles and miles and miles of fields.

  2. @Tango: Heard about that speech, not holding my breath... lol