In June 7 issue, Russell County News By Barbara Sharp Zimmerman, Columnist
So, the Russell County Fair is underway again.
Wait, isn’t this the first part of June?
When I was growing up, the Fair was always the first week in August. You know, when the vegetable crops were all in, and people could enter their produce – both fresh and canned – to compete for prizes.
We looked forward to the Fair all summer long and saved our money so we could ride those wonderful rides and play all those games of chance.
The Fair brought a dizzying array of neon lights, bizarre sideshow artwork, strange calliope music, exotic carnival characters and sawdust to my youthful senses.
I was simply amazed by the prospects of the fat woman, the ape man and the two-headed boy, but my parents wouldn’t let me go into those kinds of exhibits.
Oh, the weather was hot, but that made the rides even better, especially in the evenings. Plus, there were snow cones, and soft drinks yanked out of tanks of ice water.
Back then, the Russell County Fair marked the end of summer – a last celebration before the beginning of school. Isn’t that where it belongs?
* * * Soon it will be time for the annual Independence Day celebration in Jamestown – the LakeFest. But, if they can move the Russell County Fair to a time when the weather is cooler or for whatever reason there was, couldn’t we also move the LakeFest to a time when it doesn’t destroy the tourist trade for local businesses on what should be their busiest weekend of the year – the Fourth of July?
The restaurants, bank and businesses right in Jamestown have to close for most of the time during LakeFest, because their customers can’t get to them. Government offices shut down. Parking vanishes. Tourists, and some regular customers, can’t get to our grocery.
I also question the benefit of the LakeFest to the city. It seems to me that most of the citizens of Jamestown don’t attend the now too-long event anyhow. It does not show off our community at its quaint best with all our stores and offices blocked or closed.
Tourists stay away from this assemblage of child-torturing beauty contests, bad food and booths selling a variety of junk from tee shirts to license plates – in droves. A lot of people attend from outlying areas and are there for the free country music show and fireworks; even if they spend money on the trinkets and junk food being sold, the vendors take their profits with them when they leave. Other than the trash left behind, what does the city get from this?
Why couldn’t we shorten the LakeFest, make it a truly local celebration and move it to a weekend that would cause our businesses to lose less business than they do now?
* * *
Is ole I. C. Toowell trying to pick a fight?
He can say whatever he wishes on the subject of closet Democrats disguising themselves as Republicans. That happens a lot around here because Republicans hold most political offices in Russell County, and people want to be able to vote in the primaries.
But, judging by the number of people who tell me they agree with my points of view, attitudes may be changing. I would encourage the Democrats who are registered as Republicans to become the Democrats they really are in spite of the threat of ostracism.
When I registered as a Democrat a couple of years ago, H. K. Cooper was in the County Clerk’s office and he almost went into apoplexy, knowing as he did my familial roots. But I think he got over it; he’s still speaking to me, at least.
So I say, come on out of the closet, all you Democrats posing as Republicans. It’s safer for you now in Russell County than it used to be.
Now, as for me voting for John McCain, well, that is not going to happen. Not only does ole I. C. NOT see too well, he also obviously has lost his grip on reality.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629