From My Window… From fun weekend to politics on to start of county fair

Sean McMahon, Editor

Sean McMahon, Editor

Must admit here, the county fair, no matter where one lives, is usually a fun time, and we are rapidly approaching the Rio Blanco County Fair, which officially slides its doors open on Friday at 4 p.m. with horse classes and the beginning of team roping at 6 p.m.

Several events have already begun or been held such as the fashion portion of the fair, the cake decorating, the 4-H county shoot-off, etc., but the other events begin on Friday and run through Aug. 2.
Each year I look forward to seeing the animals, small and large; eating well; the food entries and the photography; the art and the talent show; the bake sale and the junior livestock auction, which is really what brings the youths to the fair in the first place.
When I was child, it was an annual trek to the El Paso and Boulder county fairs and quite often to the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.
My favorite attractions there were, in order: the food, the rabbits (mostly the lop-eared type), the goats and the bull riding. I even remember watching when a huge bull jumped the fence at the state fair and gored about 20 vehicles in the parking lot. You can’t beat that excitement.
Not having been to a county fair in about 25 years, I must say I had a great time at the Rio Blanco County Fair last year.
My favorite attractions were, in order: the food (particularly the lamb kabobs), the rabbits (lop-eared are tops) and goats, but I throughly enjoyed the young men and women showing off their animals.
It was particularly amazing, since I had never watched it before, to look on as these young boys and girls showed off their 4-H and FFA project pigs and cows, most of which weighed several times more than their handlers.
It was also pretty impressive to watch as many of the contestants not only showed more than one animal but also took part in a couple of other events such as fashion or photography or cake making.
For my first time at the Rio Blanco County Fair, I was highly impressed by the quantity and quality of the young people and what they were able to accomplish with their projects and their animals.
Yep, I must admit I am looking forward to the fair this year — much more thatn last year — because I know a lot more than I knew last year.

It has been quite interesting to watch the TV advertising regarding the Colorado U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Mark Udall and Republican challenger Cory Gardner, who is currently a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Udall’s commercial blasts Gardner for his attempt to make abortion, including in cases of incest and rape, illegal in Colorado and to ban contraceptives and other birth control devices.
This is a good advertisement for Udall’s re-election because Colorado is considered a liberal state due to the large number of liberal votes and state leaders hailing from the Front Range.
However, it is also a good commercial for Gardner as it likely helps him solidify support among the right-to-lifers, and there are also a lot of those folks in Colorado as well.
Gardner, on the other hand, blasts Udall for his environmentalist stand on energy development. That will prove to be an effective advertisement for Gardner because of the need for energy exploration and the job market and the financial pinch some of the rural counties are feeling.
On the other hand, it is also a good ad for Udall because there are a lot of environmentalists in this state, and it further solidifies Udall’s association with those environmentalists, as has been a family legacy since the days of Stewart and Mo Udall and prior to that with lesser-known Udalls.
Now Udall is blasting Gardner for taking nearly $700,000 in campaign money from the oil/gas/energy companies.
It is a good ad in the eyes of Udall backers who are tired of hearing of the incredibly high amount of profits the oil and gas companies have reported in the past three years while gas prices have remained high. It is not a good ad for those concerned about their candidate being held captive by the perceived live-high and spend energy corporations.
Gardner, meanwhile, is extolling the virtues of having grown up in small-town Yuma, Colo., and putting those people on a pedestal as just “good ole folks.”
A great ad for Gardner and small towns in Colorado. Not a great ad if you can acknowledge the reality that it is not the small towns that elect candidates to state or federal office or that “good ole folks” with their strong country ethics are not the ones who make the largest impression in the D.C. offices. Sorry, but Mr. Smith is no longer in Washington.
While these are all major topics that will carry sway, both candidates need to get away from one-subject negative ads and tell us what they will do, not what their opponent won’t do.
Negative advertising has seen some successes over the years and it has seen some failures.
Personally, I’m not much impressed by the negative attacks, although I do find the aforementioned ads effective.
But it certainly would be a nice change of scenery for the candidates to let us know what it is they want to do that is positive and how they believe they are going to accomplish it.

A large number of out-of-town people I came in contact with over the weekend had very nice things to say about Meeker, the Meekerites they encountered and the terrain around Rio Blanco County.
A couple of people I spoke with on Friday night were very complimentary about the Meeker Chamber of Commerce bluegrass concert by Finnders and Youngberg of Fort Collins on the courthouse lawn and even more vocally praised the ERBM Recreation and Park District for throwing its community appreciation activities on Saturday, featuring the free lunch, games and music by Meeker’s Matt Holliday Band.
Most of the out-of-town visitors I spoke with were here because of the OHV Rendezvous, but they were able to take in the town’s activities on both days.
They were unanimous in their opinions that it is rare to find such a small town that provides the amount and quality of entertainment, food and other activities they encountered over the weekend.
Congratulations and thanks to the Meeker Chamber of Commerce and to the ERBM Recreation District as well as the two groups’ executive directors, Stephanie Kobald and Mike Weinbrecht, respectively. Combined, you made for a great weekend for our town residents and many of our out-of-town visitors.

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