Have you ever had the chance to go back, maybe visit some place from your childhood? I get to come here to Broken Bow at least every year and especially every other year for the reunion, so it’s not just being in Broken Bow that touched my heart this week. This week we spent three days at the Custer County Fair. True, most of my time was under the grandstand but there really wasn’t a better place to “remember”…
In the early 70’s there were several years that my siblings and I went to Grandpa and Grandma Jones’ ranch for a week or two. We also stayed there for 3-4 months right before we moved to California in 1975. When we would visit in the summer our cousins from Kansas would come while we were there… or maybe we went while they were there. At any rate there would be 6 or 7 of us there at a time. At least one summer and maybe more Grandpa and Grandma took us to the Custer County Fair for the day. We explored, watched our other cousins show their calves, nabbed anything free we could get our hands on from the booths under the grandstand and went home exhausted at the end of the day.
Fast forward about 35 years… I am sitting at one of those booths selling the book written about that those experiences. I am visiting with dozens, can I say hundreds(????) of children as they guess the number of skittles in my plastic cowboy boot mug (369). Anyone who know me knows how those kids lit up my world. 🙂 Every few minutes a train would come howling by the fairground reminding me of the plot of the story. I wanted to get up several times to see if I could spot… OH, you haven’t all read the book… can’t give THAT AWAY! 🙂
My siblings were unable to come, but several of the Kansas cousins were there and a new generation of the local cousins were showing their sheep and calves. My uncle was at the Farm Bureau booth next to me and the nurses from the Nursing Home that Grandma lives in came by to say hi and to see the old pictures we had displayed. Some of Grandpa and Grandma’s former neighbors recognized them from pictures and told us stories about times they visited back and forth.
We sold 33 books at the fair which I felt was excellent considering most of the booths were informational. I also handed out many many business cards, flyers, and talked up the website. Thanks to one cousin and her daughter there are flyers all over town. Her sister sat at the booth almost the entire time helping to promote the book. Between all of that and being in the parade on Saturday the buzz about the book has really taken off in Broken Bow… somehow it is so right. A full-circle moment, compliments of God. 🙂