I remember the teachers would welcome us back to school and ask us what was the most exciting thing we experienced during the summer. Many went on vacations, attended camp and visited their grandparents on the farm. My summers were spent helping on the farm, but I remember one time we went to the Colorado mountains to visit Dad’s brother, Uncle Herman.
This summer I had many special experiences and will try to share some with you, beginning with the last week in August. The Kansas Master Farm Homemaker Guild hosted the 87th annual National MFHG Convention in Hutchinson. The theme was “Salt, Space and Sunflowers.”
There were 106 ladies and their spouses in attendance from Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky and Kansas.
Great tours, scrumptious meals, entertainment and prizes made it a super event.
My favorite part was STRATAGA — the Kansas Underground salt museum. I never thought I’d eat a meal 680 feet underground with new friends from Kentucky.
Ten days later I was again in Hutchinson, checked into the 4-H Encampment at the Kansas State Fair. My name tag said Opal Flinn, Dorm supervisor 47 years. Wow. I’ve set a goal, I plan to continue working at the Fair until that reads 50 years or more.
There is so much to see and do, it’s hard to pick what I want to share with you. There was a huge bear made from chains, welded together, the butter sculpture, Pogo Fred, the walking tree, the beard and moustache contest, sour tail candy and much more.
I visited with a couple from southwest Kansas. Their 7-year-old son was unhappy. He had casts on his legs and he couldn’t go on the rides. He couldn’t get close enough to see the tiger show. I had picked up a cute pink panther key chain, when I gave it to him, he said “Are you sure you want to give this it me?”
“I sure do.” He gave me the biggest thank you smile.
Last year I got the souvenir T-shirt “Get on a stick” and marked off the items listed on the back. Guess what. They had another T-shirt this year “Fried n’ Joy.” Again I searched, bought, ate and marked off 23 items such as chicken, lollypops and jalapeno Twinkies. My favorite was Frosted Flake chicken.
Each day I stopped to watch the cosmic artists. The most beautiful pictures are created with layers of spray paint, you have to see it to believe it. Each picture is different. This year Gerina has joined Cosmo, she also creates art with spray paint. Because I stopped each day they surprised me with a gift picture — half by Cosmo half by Gerina. I was so pleased.
On the last day of the fair after I was off my shift, my son took me to Park City to meet my newest great-grandchild. Connor Lee Flinn, born July 21, is the first to carry on the family name. He was so precious, my 12th great-grand has red hair like his dad had as a kid.
I think I’ll count this the No. 1 thing for my summer. Great-grandchildren rank high in great-grandma’s heart.
I’m back home trying to catch up. I know you don’t have to go out of town to have a good time. So, come to the 17th annual Western Summit, Thursday, at Rose Garden Ballroom. A great program has been planned. Hope to see you there.
Opal Flinn is a member of the
Generations Advisory Group.