Hard work, planning pay off for fair participants

RBC — Rio Blanco County’s fairgrounds are quiet this week.
At least compared to last weekend.
The place was buzzing all weekend long — and even before that — with all sorts of activities associated with the annual Rio Blanco County fair.
One of the highlights each year, as well as the grand finale of the fair, was the livestock sale last Saturday night.
(Editor’s note: Results from the fair are expected to publish in next week’s Herald Times after results are compiled by the Extension Office.)
From Megan Ridings, 17, of Meeker, who has been involved in 4-H since she was 6, to Mary Jane Davies, 87, visiting from Nipomo, Calif., youth, as well as adults, of all ages participated in the fair.
Davies was in town visiting her daughter and her husband, Carol and Rick Rowlee, and was persuaded to enter one of her chocolate fudge pies in the county fair.
“He (Rick) ate half of one last night,” Davies said after bringing one of her pies to the exhibit hall. “I still have one left in the freezer, if Rick doesn’t get to it.”
The fair culminates months of hard work and investment by 4-H’ers and their parents. And it has its rewards.
Just ask Dr. Kellie Turner.
Her husband, Coley, was in a Denver hospital, while their son, Casey, 9, the only one of their three children old enough to compete in 4-H, was showing his animals in the fair for the first time.
But, unfortunately, his dad couldn’t be there.
The previous weekend, during the 4-H horse show, Coley had his right thumb almost completely severed in a roping accident.
“It’s the kind of injury a roper can get,” Kellie said. “But it was his (Coley’s) first injury as a roper.”
Ironically, Coley is the former shop teacher at Meeker High School, Kellie said. He will switch to teaching physical education this year.
“I told him you finally get out of shop and switch to PE and he almost loses a finger,” Kellie said.
She wasn’t at the fairgrounds when her husband’s accident occurred.
“When I heard I was getting ready to go to (the Smoking River) powwow,” she said.
Kellie, who is a general practice physician, accompanied her husband on the helicopter flight from Meeker to Denver.
So, while Coley was in the hospital, Casey was showing at the county fair.
“He (Casey) had been working with his dad all summer,” Kellie said. “But his dad is in Denver missing it (the fair). He (Coley) is going crazy not being here.”
Doctors in Denver re-attached Coley’s thumb and the prognosis looks good, Kellie said. He came home from the hospital Monday night.
In Coley’s absence, family and friends stepped in and rallied around around Casey, offering help and encouragement during the fair.
“People have been incredible,” Kellie said. “This is one of the good things about a small town.”
By the way, Casey won showmanship in the junior swine division.