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The End of Summer

September 4, 2008 - Dan Voigt
Despite what the calendar may say, Labor Day and the Clay County Fair unofficially signal the end of the summer. Add in the fact that school has been in session for a couple of weeks, and football has started, those are all pretty good indicators that we’ve entered the Fall season of the year. While the crops in our area are looking pretty good at this point in time, rain would still be greatly appreciated on a countywide basis, but of course, not too much. However, like anyone who has lived in this area, we all know that there will be rain during the Clay County Fair. It seems kind of funny, when you think about it, that we’ve come to associate weather events with calendar events, isn’t it? Now, I’m not making a general statement, like saying that January means its going to be snowy and cold, and July will be sunny and hot. I’m talking about certain social activities that seem to have weather events associated with them. You want a for instance? OK, here’s an obvious one. How many of you always equate a snowstorm of some type with the Girls State Basketball Tournaments? I can remember the stories of a blizzard that struck during the Girls State Tournament, trapping hundreds of fans inside Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium overnight while the snow fell and the winds howled outside. Broadcasting legend Frosty Mitchell came up with records and held a “sock hop” on the floor of Vets’ through the night, until the storm eased the next day. That’s probably one of the most well known weather events on the calendar. I would submit that sometime during the week’s run of the Clay County Fair, it usually rains – not too many years ago, a rather heavy rain fell, almost turning the annual event into a quagmire. I recall one year at the fair when the crew of Jackson Speedway was hosting an enduro race at the fair on a Saturday afternoon, but overnight, about two inches of rain had fallen on the fairgrounds, and the old half-mile racing surface was saturated – no, more like a full-fledged mud bog in a couple of places. The stage crew had struggled to get the big stage back across the front straightaway that morning, leaving some major ruts in the surface of the track. Then, as luck would have it, it rained again around mid-morning. Not much, but just enough to soup it up again. Anyhow, we worked with graders, tractors and trucks to try and pull the mud off to the side of the track, and managed to get the enduro in, without any dust, by the way. Anyhow, that’s one of the reasons I equate the Clay County Fair with rain. I could also point out a couple of snowstorms in Des Moines on the championship night of the State Wrestling Tournament in 2007 and 2008 – both nights, snow came down and created real havoc in the capital city, and made for interesting travel home on the following Sunday. The Fourth of July always seems to mean hot weather, sunshine, humid weather. I don’t remember the last rain on the Fourth, but then again, I almost forgot that this past weekend was Labor Day, just because it seemed like it was a week earlier than normal. But, it is now September, and as you look at the calendar, we see we have 11 weeks left in this year. There’s going to be a lot of action in 11 weeks – football will continue, Volleyball and Cross Country will take place, and then the next thing you know, wrestling and basketball are bearing down on us, along with Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Then, amazingly enough, we’re right back into the whole cycle again. So why am I complaining? Because I really haven’t even started thinking about Christmas shopping yet, and some of my friends are all ready done. A guy just can’t win….by Dan Voigt


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