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DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


September 27, 2010

Campaign Diary Fair Week

Michael Kurtianyk

I was glad to have had the opportunity to spend so much time at The Great Frederick Fair. I was at the Democrat tent most of the time, when I wasn’t with friends and colleagues eating (more on that later) or going to the booths to meet with people.

 

The temperatures seemed to increase with each passing day, but my time there was quite fruitful. There are many memories that I will take with me.

 

* * * * * * * * *

One of those memories which I will cherish always is the time I spent with a former county commissioner. I didn’t know who he was when I sat down with him one afternoon at the Democrat tent. This tent is across from the Grandstand, and that afternoon, the horses were racing.

 

I remarked to him that horse race announcers sound so dramatic every time they call a race. He chuckled and said: “Yes, they do, and sometimes, they have to, because the race he’s calling isn’t worth watching.” Now that’s funny! It turns out that the gentleman was Jefferson’s own Charlie Smith.

 

We sat for at least a half hour, just talking about what things were like when he was county commissioner. I learned so much from him, and just hearing him tell his stories about people, businesses, and leadership, I realized that in general, we don’t stay connected to our past.

 

I have had the great pleasure to have lunch with former Commissioners Mark Hoke and Sterling Bollinger, and I’ve spoken to Bruce Reeder and Anita Stup. They still have so much to offer, and for someone like me, it’s great to have that connection to the past. I look forward to spending time with them again.

 

* * * * * * * * *

Where else can you eat such great food this week than at the fair? Though I didn’t try the deep-fried Oreos or the deep-fried Snickers (though I did at the Emmitsburg Carnival), I did enjoy some great food this week. The crab cake sandwich at the Libertytown booth was incredible. It was buttery and sweet and juicy and bursting with flavor – and that was just on the first bite.

 

Another treat was the “Farmer’s Cheeseburger” at Dougherty’s. I’ll tell you what makes up a farmer’s cheeseburger, but promise you won’t tell my wife. Okay?

 

Okay! Here we go: it’s a cheeseburger, but with the addition of a fried egg on top. Put a little mustard and ketchup, and you end up with something close to Heaven on earth. Just keep this between us. And, also, say nothing to my cardiologist!

 

* * * * * * * * *

With the days so hot, I did have an orangeade most every day. My favorite of all of the thirst-quenchers, the orangeade is a concoction of fresh-squeezed oranges, sugar, seltzer water, and ice. You can drink a diet version if you’d like, but I take the hi-test version.

 

No visit to the fair can be complete without a trip to Hemp’s. The lines are long, so it’s important to get there early – like 10 A.M. early! I picked a beef sandwich platter this year, and I was not disappointed. I added a dash of horseradish for added spice.

 

In the building across from the Democrat tent was the ice cream provided – and served mostly by Frederick County Farm Bureau members and volunteers. There really is nothing like the cookies and cream milk shakes that I had this week. All were made to perfection.

 

* * * * * * * * *

It was good to see the candidates for the various offices at the Democrat and Republican tents. Though I did spend most of my time at the Democrat tent, I did go to the Republican tent to see the GOP candidates. Some were there when I was and some weren’t. Their tent was located outside the building where WFMD was located along with the award-winning artwork, photography, etc.

 

* * * * * * * * *

Kudos to the 4-H Club and the countless volunteers who gave so much of their time to make the Fair the wondrous place it is.

 

It was great seeing the baby animals, especially the piglets and the calves. My daughters had the most fun at the barns when they went to the fair. I do wish I could have spent more time with them, but this year is unique, and I hope they understood that I couldn’t be with them all the time.

 

It did tug at my heart though.

 



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