Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hog 54 Where Are You?!

ILLINOIS HOG CALLER [listen to the original radio broadcast for an interview concerning this historic event at the AS IT HAPPENS website]

If the movie Deliverance has taught us anything, it's that when someone tells you to "squeal like a pig", you should head for the hills. Or rather, the city. But one woman, whom one hopes has never seen that film, took that order as a challenge -- and headed for the stage.

This weekend, Doris Probst became the first woman to win the hog-calling contest at the Illinois State Fair. We reached her in Bishop Creek, Illinois...

One of the joys of summer... hog calling! Not sure why it holds such a fascination for me but it does. A secret desire to own livestock? Not likely. My recessive hill genes? Maybe. Most likely it is from memories of childhood. We would travel to the Pumpkin Festival in Circleville Ohio. Now there's a fun trip! Pumpkins big as a house, an even bigger pumpkin pie, and pumpkin flavored delicacies of every kind. The evening festivities centered around the pie eating contest and the hog calling. I always tried to "Look hungry" like the nice man said... but never got picked from the audience for the pie eating contest. Maybe I can convince the husband to go this year. What a blast!

So congratulations to Doris - you rock ma'am! The rest of us womenfolk are seriously proud!

No actual hog calling for the folks in my family... but we do have some 4H kids! And my sister is quite a prolific ribbon winner in the baking, canning, and other home arts categories in Franklin County. I also have a ribbon or two to my credit from years past. Just haven't quite got it together enough to enter in Cuyahoga County yet... maybe next year.

We do have quite a lovely fair here in my new county - the snaps below are from our visit last year. The husband does enjoy the midway games and insists on demonstrating his manly skills at prize winning. I love to see the exhibits. There are so many things I fear we will lose from our culture as the farm and home arts in particular are phased out of our lives. So glad many folks still enjoy them! Speaking of enjoying, there is nothing like the food at the fair. "I'd like a steak on a stick and funnel cake please!" Wish I lived in Wisconsin - I hear the fried cheese curds are to die for!

I hope that you too will be able to visit your local fairs and festivals while it is the season. And may the arts of Animal Husbandry, Farming, Canning, Knitting, and of course Hog Calling live on for many generations to come!

have I mentioned lately that I love the Mosaic Maker from Big Huge Labs?

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