The day was hot, and horsedrawn rigs stood lined against the cedar bars, and over all there hung the smell of peanuts, soda and cigars, except down where the cattle stood, hot, thirsty, in the blazing sun and Old Man Andrews rigged his stand, the targets, and oiled up each gun. He couldn’t shoot while cattle stood so night the butts of turf and wood.
The souphouse smelled of cooking food, and perfumed-scented summer girls, and one chef worked among the pots, his head adorned with graying curls that drooped around his chin and jaws, and hampered as they swung, his view and to himself I heard him say, “I think I’ll make an oyster stew!”
Inside the hall, there were displayed, the cakes, the pies and marmalade, and well upholstered judges plied the knives and spoons as each one tried the food and jellies, leisurely. Their appetites seemed good, to me, as thus they argued in debated, “No, we can’t give this prize to Kate. Her pie is good, but still I feel that there is too much orange peel!”
Among the vegetables, old men and young, would look, write with a pen, and ‘twas Bill Rotch, who wrote this down, “Ten cents for every boy in town who brings a cucumber or squash. We must encourage ‘em, by gosh!”
Among the animals, they strolled, the judge and owners, young and old, and Alfred Norton, 90-odd, says “What, third prize for me? By God, there ain’t a bull here in the lot as big and fat as mu old Spot!”
I walked about, I ate mince pie and boyish-like, it made me cry when filled to top capacity, I couldn’t finish it, you see, and there was no one anywhere to whom I could present a share, and it seemed wicked on that day when I had pie to throw away!
I climbed the flight of stairs so tall and peered into the half-filled hall, where Brother Hamlin set forth the duties of the folks up North, in giving to a righteous cause, and maybe passing brand new laws - somewhere, down Alabama-way, he ran a mission, folks would say.
‘Twas there, at tender age of eight, I lost my heart upon that date, when Mindwell Littlefield passed by, her rustling garments filled the eye, and bright blue sash, an angel seemed, such beauty I had never dreamed!
Came chore time, night was near at hand, I stood and listened yo the band and when drove up the Democrat and Dad called, I refused him flat and ignominiously was towed and carted back up North Road. In peevishness, I left the scene still thinking of Sweet Seventeen, who banished grief with thrilling glee, for Mindwell turned and smiled at me!