Posts Tagged ‘Joe Walsh’

Me? I went to the Oregon State Fair on Saturday. I wanted to just go to the fair and see the animals and exhibits, but my husband zeroed in on the fact that his hero, Joe Walsh, was performing Saturday night. He has a channel on Pandora that is titled “Joe Walsh Radio”. Not that I am complaining – they play a lot of Led Zeppelin on Joe Walsh Radio on Pandora. If I had been the one to set up the station, it would have been Led Zeppelin Radio.

I have Third Day Radio set up on there, too. But I’m the only one who listens to that & I do it when I’m cleaning house.

If I want folk music, I tune into www.folkalley.com because Pandora doesn’t “do” folk or bluegrass.

Anyway, back to what I have been up to. Before I knew it, Don had purchased tickets to Joe Walsh on Saturday at the State Fair. And then he seemed quite surprised that I actually wanted to go to the State Fair and check out the exhibits, too. Silly husband: there are horses at the State Fair!

Not any horse this year, but I noted that there were Gypsy horses and I have recently fallen in love with the breed. I just wanted to see them up close and all.

So we headed down to Salem at 3:00PM, thinking that we’d have about 3 hours to tour the fairgrounds before we had to find our way into the amphitheatre for the all-important Joe Walsh concert. I got to drive. Lucky me. Don is familiar with Salem and I am not. Fortunately, it was very simple, he’s a good so-pilot and the directions to the fairgrounds were well-marked. Parking was free.

Before we even got into the fair, things hinted at a sour day. And I am afraid that I fed into it. Something came over me: righteous anger, indignation, stupidity – I don’t know what. But there were three young men walking ahead of us, big burly youths between 17 and 19 years of age. The tallest and burliest was a strawberry-blond of some indistinct Nordic heritage with a very foul mouth. There were families with small children streaming along the same path; people of every color : pasty white, tan, brown, ecru, burnt sienna, chocolate, coffee. And this ignoramus has the bravado to call someone a “Nigger”.

If his skin had been black, I suppose I would have ignored it. but his skin was pasty-white and his companions were ecru. He didn’t mean the word in vernacular of good friends chiding each other: he meant it in the most derogatory terms. His voice dripped with hatred.

I muttered (loudly) to Don, “That is an inappropriate comment.”

Any swearing of that nature is inappropriate in a crowd, I don’t care what epithets you choose to use. Common sense should tell you that.

Red-head pretended he didn’t hear me and shot back some further derogatory description of people with skin of a different color than his. We were now entering the queue at the gate.

“Your ignorance shows on your face,” I replied – directly, this time because in my opinion the lines were drawn and Mr. 250-pounds of weight lifting anger had crossed a line that Ms. 135-pounds of flabby butter could not, in all good conscience, allow him to cross. My pasty-white flesh rose up.

To everyone’s relief, the three hoods left the queue and stomped silently away, completely (and hopefully, truly) abashed. I can’t stand bullies.

I apologized later to my husband who was just trying to keep his head down as the shots were fired.

It was stupid, I know – but if no one stands up, then who wins? Stupid wins. And I just can’t let stupid win.

I let it go. I wanted to have a great day, so I let it go. They left, everyone in the line let out a collective sigh (actually, I don’t think anyone was listening in, but that sounded good – didn’t it?), and we hustled right through with our tickets purchased online.

The Fair. Well, in a nutshell: the horses are inaccessible for the most part. A few are stalled where the normal fair goer can walk through, but most are kept in stalls beyond the chain-link fence around the fair grounds. How I had forgotten that detail is beyond me. DANG!

The only way to see the horses at Oregon State Fair is to attend the horse show in the arena. What horses you get to see depends on when you are there and the schedule. We got to watch four young horses vie for a ribbon in carriage pulling. I can only tell you that one was an Arabian, one was a draft horse of indeterminate breeding, and two were sharp-looking sorrel horses that could have been anything hot-blooded. The announcer never mentioned breeds.

There was a draft horse competition at 7PM, but we were headed to the concert by then. We did get to see several Clydesdale and Shire horses, but that was about it.

The cattle, sheep, goats and pigs filled a small building. There are more on display at any Clackamas County Fair. I suppose only the best of the best FFA and 4-H animals make it to the State Fair, but it just seems like there are too few when you’ve browsed the stalls at our local county fair for years.

We went looking for the 4-H exhibits and the General Exhibits. The guide to the Fair was ambiguous. The map wasn’t oriented to the North. The graphics did not outline all the entrances. We found all the commercial vendors trying to hawk their newest and bestest wares (stuff you can’t live without, you know), the Master Gardener’s display (banana trees outside? That’s pretty far-fetched in Oregon, even if we’re in a moderate climate), the bare and small 4-H exhibit, and, finally, a small corner at the very outer limits of the fair called the “Artisan’s Village” where local, home-grown Oregon artists demonstrated their trade and their wares. One blacksmith, one wood-carver, a couple potters, a couple jewelry makers…

We found the steam engines and the old car and jeep. We walked briskly through the extended tents of Midway traders selling cheap clothes, jewelry and miscellany made in China, Taiwan, Korea – anywhere but in Oregon. We braved a walk through the commercial exhibits (I pulled Don away from some hawker selling a grill cover you can fry eggs on). And we finally located the main exhibition hall only to realize we’d been there once.

The photography was great. Everything else was displayed county-by-county, presumably to give you an idea of what each county in Oregon is able to produce.

The preserves (canned goods) filled a 4×4′ table. All the jams, pickles, fruits, et cetera from across the entire state: one table top 4×4′. The quilts lined the walls, but I do not recall seeing any identifying tags hanging from them to tell you who/what/where.

Don asked if we could go see the poultry. YES! Certainly there would be a lot of birds! There’s an entire building set aside for birds.

Um. Yeah. Not. I figure – off the top of my head – that there were 40 birds. 12 bunnies. WOW. When I think of trying to make my way through the cages at the local county fair and all the variety of chickens… This was pitiful.

We watched the judging of a beef class (Red Angus). There was no announcer and you had to have some knowledge of agriculture to understand what they were doing. It was really very different from the fairs I have attended before where the beef was open applauded, lauded, and auctioned off to a local grocer or butcher. I’m not going to go into the ethics of raising beef for food (I am not vegan or vegetarian – I am an unashamed omnivore who likes red meat – sorry & yet I understand your position: is that OK?).

We finally found our way into the amphitheatre despite the looks on the faces of the people working the fair. We had a map. the map showed the entrances in different places than where we were directed. We downloaded the map from the Oregon State Fair web site. It was the worst map ever. Well, close. Someone needs to inform the map makers for the State Fair that ALL maps should be oriented to the North and that gates/entrances/exits should be *clearly* marked.

We were still in a very good mood, despite everything I have written. We found our seats in the upper tier. Not many people were seated around us. The grey-haired men who came to take their places around us were giddy with anticipation: the last time they saw Joe Walsh was in 1971. Over forty years ago. Don was in Junior High, so these men were older than him.

And Joe Walsh, that 64-year-old rocker?

He rocked. He rolled. He engaged the audience. He put on a show. He proved that he remains one of the best guitarists of our generation. And the audience sang all of his golden oldies with him.

Thank you, Joe Walsh, for a good show.

You pick. I can’t. It was all good, even if you are sick and tired of Life’s Been Good to Me… It brought the house down.

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