The Accident…

I once won a Blue Ribbon at the Polk County Fair. At first thought, not a particularly noteworthy accomplishment, but there is a back-story that I believe is worth telling. I grew up in a small town in Western Oregon. Built on the industry of ranchers, farmers, loggers, and those who provide services to them, Oregon was, and still is, primarily a rural economy. Each summer, county fairs from Multnomah in the north to Klamath in the south blanket the state. The town of Independence in Polk County where I attended Middle and High School holds a classic county fair: dusty, noisy, smelly, and filled with…