Jan. 16th, 2014

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On Saturday we started off with a ceremony at the Shawnee Prairie Presevr to dedicate twelve maple trees to mom's generation, the Dozen Cousins, the erstwhile Dirty Dozen. These joined the trees previously dedicated to the Magnificent seven, my grandfather and his siblings (Joe, Walter, Otilla, Julia, and Esther). It was a lovely speech by the groundskeeper, followed by short remembrances from the cousins. Afterwards we went into their interpretive center, which had live snakes, bees, and amphibians, and stuffed birds and mammals.  Finally we went to the fair, I was with Mia and Mom, while Amy and Peter went on Bill's guided walk. We saw the baking and vegetation contests in the bottom of the coliseum, and the domestic arts (quilts and needlecraft), ate some fair sandwiches, and then went to watch the horse races. I lost about ten dollars, including a couple photo finishes. Eric's family and Bob's family were there too. I went off and toured the midway and looked at the rides (which weren't that different from Barnstable Co) and had a funnel cake. Eventually we left for the evening's entertainment, dinner and dancing at the Turtle Creek country club. There were more speeches, and cute kids. The bar was open, and the band Dublin was great.

The next morning (Sunday) people drifted home, parents and Eric driving back, Peter hitching a ride with the Steiners to the Cinci airport. I went back to the fair and saw the animal pens and the fine arts, and ate a pork sandwich down by then cattle barns and some sugar waffles. I talked to the spinners and learned what the carcass competition is, and saw a bit of the peewee chicken contest. (We missed the human crowing contest.) Then I went to the Garst Museum, to see the history of Greenville--Tecumseh and the Prophet, Ft Greeneville and Gen Wayne, (not much on the actual Treaty of Greeneville), Lowell Thomas and Annie Oakley. There were 'rooms' set up to display people's antiques, and recreations of old shops (the beauty salon was terrifying, the telescope makers surprising), and a room of unescorted collected farmhouse equipment--old stoves, cider presses, a stagecoach). They made the point that Annie's life was quite different from the fictional versions, that she never lost her hometown roots (despite unspecified abusive upbringing). I drove to Columbus via Bradford, stopping to buy an autographed Scalzi book. At the Fontanas we had a family dinner with the Viaus, Juli, Allison and her fiancé Gabe, and an unrecognizable Carley.

Monday Juli and I went to the Columbus Zoo where she volunteers (and got us in for free, and discounts on food). We saw polar bears being fed, lions, tigers, and bears, a clouded leopard, baby otters and pronghorns, elephants and okapis. Then we went to the watermark Zoombezi Bay and rode the waterslides. Dinner with Linda, Dave, and Allison, then we watched the finale of the Dragon Tattoo movies.

Tuesday Juli and I drove up to Cleveland to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 
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Steve Golder and I went back to the Sandwich BBC Game Dinner last night. We feasted on boar sausage, venison ravioli, whole stuffed quail, ostrich meatloaf (yum), antelope meatballs (double yum), duck taco, guineafowl springroll, civet of hare (aka jugged hare, or cooked with onion), alligator gumbo, rattlesnake and pheasant puffs, duck wontons. The root vegetable were good, the mushroom gnocchi my only loser. Followed by a almond strawberry tart, crunchy, and accompanied by tempranillo wine.


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