Maybe I Am Biased…Maybe Not

The other day I had to pick up my entries in our local fair. I won 2 second place ribbons in the Hobbies division and nothing in the Photographic Arts division.

Let me say this: The judges in the Hobbies division have been doing this for 20+ years. They are volunteers, not paid. They consistently choose the largest item entered regardless of skill level. For example, this year the grand prize winner was a t-shirt quilt (king size), with simple construction and was obviously sent out to someone who had a long arm quilting machine to be quilted. The item that should have won was a smaller quilt. It was a mariner’s compass quilt that requires great skill in piecing and matching points. But it did not win.

And “NO”, I did not enter a quilt in the Fair. I entered a pair of socks, my own design, and a soft sculpture dragon.

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Now for the Photographic Arts: The chairperson who used to handle it quit last year after the Fair. Evidently he had a falling out with the Fair manager. The Hobbies chairperson was asked to take over the Photographic Arts and she did. But she had to get her own judges and I really feel that they did not know what they were doing.

There was a bucket load of floral photos and none of those were chosen for any ribbons. I think the new judges felt overwhelmed and chose none that had flowers in them. It appeared as if they closed their eyes and threw darts. Wherever a dart landed, that photo got a ribbon. It was very evident that the criteria was totally ignored.

Here are the photos I entered. I wish I could show you the other photos entered, but due to copyright laws I can’t do that.

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I also noticed there were less entries this year…in ALL categories, throughout the Fair. Don’t know what is up with that.

At first I thought it was just me. Maybe my feelings were hurt, not getting a ribbon this year for my photos. Then I began to hear other opinions that were the same as mine…..this year’s judges had no clue as to what they were doing.

Will I enter next year? Probably, BUT I am also checking out other fairs in this area. Surely this will give me a more rounded idea as to whether or not my items are as good as I think they are.

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Foley, Alabama Train Depot Museum and Model Train Exhibit

We took a little trip over to Foley, Alabama today. It’s about an hour away and is such a peaceful trip through some beautiful farm lands. We planned to visit the Foley Train Depot Museum. It is free admission and is situated in a park on Laurel Street (Highway 98). The model train exhibit is very elaborate. So much detail in everything.

After the train depot, we went to Stacey’s Rexall Drugs for lunch. It has an ole time soda fountain and lunch bar. I would have taken pics inside, but it was really crowded. Evidently, it is a favorite among the locals. The food was good and inexpensive.

Youngest and I spotted an old phone booth, minus the phone. So he got inside with his cell phone to his ear and I took several pics.

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Veterans Memorial Plaza and Riverwalk

The other day, hubby and I drove to Milton and visited the Veterans Memorial Plaza and Riverwalk. They are right next to each other. You can’t visit one without visiting the other. And, BTW, it was open to the public during the government shutdown because it is owned and operated by the city/town of Milton, NOT the U.S. government.

Anyway, I took a few pics. Hope you enjoy them.

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The guy you see in some of the photos is hubby. He is a Vietnam Vet. He has a brick out there with his name on it that my brother and his family got for him.

The grasshopper is called an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. They have wings but do not fly; they can jump, but are very clumsy. So they walk everywhere they go. Oh, and they are HUGE….4 inch body length! They are supposed to be common here in Florida, but in all my 30+ years living here, this is the first one I have ever seen.

Photos of Some Churches Around Here

Just thought I’d post a few photos of some older churches around my locale (northwest Florida). It’s hard to find older churches. Most have been replaced with modern warehouse type buildings. I can understand why…hurricanes have destroyed many an old church and the newer ones are built to withstand some heavy winds and such. But I so miss the old style church with its steeples and beautiful cathedral windows and stained glass.

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Poem About a Veteran

This poem was sent to me in an email. I don’t know who wrote it, but it is worth reading.

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer,
For ol’ Joe has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer
For a Veteran died today.

He won’t be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won’t note his passing,
‘Tho a Veteran died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Veteran,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Veteran
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Veteran,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Veteran,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Veteran’s part,
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A VETERAN DIED TODAY.”

Veterans-Day 2012