Other stuff we've been doing -- 08/29/06

So... other stuff we've been doing besides our Conanicut Island bike ride from the Jamestown harbor area to Beavertail State Park and back (which was a nice eight mile round trip -- and the nice thing about it was that, although there were more hills than I had anticipated and than I encounter in my usual bike rides, it was no more effort than my typical ten or twelve mile rides, so I think my fitness level is pretty good even though I have not been running [and even though I still tend to get tangled up in nested parenthetical expressions]) and where was I going with this sentence, anyway?

Ah, yes, to the county fair -- the 40th Annual Washington County Fair -- was our first visit to the fair in many years. We went back in 1996, our first summer living here in South County (the official name is Washington County -- prior to the Revolution it was Kings County -- but everyone calls it South County -- the name of the county fair is just about the only exception that I can think of) we took the kids (Jill was 14 and Jeremy was 11) and I think we went back the next two summers but haven't been there since.

Nancy was attracted to the fair this year by the country music... Back when the fair committee had first located the land where the fair is held, they were struck by the way a wooded hillside formed a natural amphitheatre and they build a stage facing the hillside and people gather for the outdoor concerts, bringing folding chairs or blankets or just sitting on a handy boulder.
David Lee Murphy performing at the fair. Nancy is a country music fan...
Despite having a midway area with carnival rides, the Washington County Fair grew out of (and is still run by) the local Granges and the fair is set as a family-friendly environment (absolutely no alcoholic beverages on the fairgrounds), there is a strong emphasis on agriculture (with strong 4H and FFA connections), livestock exhibits, blue ribbon competitions for everything from best pig to best broccoli, tractor-pull contests, arm-wrestling, seed-spitting, and dung-throwing contests, etc. Food sales are all done as fund-raisers by local community organizations, every group you can think of from local volunteer fire brigades, boy scout troops, and church groups to the Portuguese-American Cultural Association (a significant number of Rhode Island residents are of Portuguese ancestry).
Mmmmm, yummy jams and jellies...

We've also been doing a lot of baby-sitting The Towers and Kinney Bungalow for weddings and such (for those who are not regulars at this site I guess I should explain that Nancy and I are in the pool of people who work as attendants when the town rents out a couple of historic buildings, serving partly as museum docents, explaining the history of the buildings, but also being there to monitor the party and protect the building and to respond to problems or emergencies)

I think I've mostly had Towers pictures here this year, so here are some Kinney Bungalow pictures.
Cocktails on the lawn late on a summer afternoon. This couple planned their ceremony to take place inside by the west windows at sunset.
Tables set for the wedding dinner.. This wedding featured a dinner buffet...

Other stuff...

Nancy had a tennis match one day on the grass courts at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, so I dropped her off there, and took advantage of running into my office to print a whole stack of stuff I needed printed, picked her up when her game was over, and took a quick tour of Rosecliff (the Gilded Age mansion that has played a role in various movies, ranging from The Great Gatsby to True Lies) before coming back home to finish my day's work.

We also found time to attend some evening lectures about some local history topics... and I've also been doing a bit of historical research myself...

Well, I don't want to wear out your vertical scroll bar so I think I'll close this entry

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