The other ‘parade’
There weren’t any crowds around last Wednesday morning at Fair Park, but that’s really when everyone should have been there to witness what really makes the Rockdale Fair tick.
That’s when the RVs moved in. Not rodeo contestants, not headliners, not barbecue cookers. They were still several days off.
The Wednesday Parade was composed of Rockdale Fair Association directors, and other volunteers, settling in for more than half a week. Many wouldn’t return to their homes until Sunday, some Monday or later.
They basically live at the park until the last animal is picked up, tune is played, award is handed out, penny is accounted for, floor is swept and stall is cleaned.
The Reporter was there, on some business, for about a half hour last Wednesday, well in advance of any actual Fair event. While we were there one volunteer attempted to walk from the livestock barn to her RV, got two cellphone calls dealing with Fair business and had to resolve both issues on the spot. Another pulled up in her vehicle on her cellphone doing exactly the same.
That kind of thing happened until late Monday. It’s just business as usual.
Multiply that little slice of third-weekend-in-October life by four dozen and you’ve got the Rockdale Fair Association’s board of directors.
Why do they do it? They can give you four and a half million reasons. That’s the number of dollars returned to Milam County 4-H and FFA youth over the past 37 Fairs through the RFA’s efforts, more than $4 million alone through the livestock auction sales.
That money didn’t get wasted either. How do we know? Call it intuition. A kid who has raised an animal has already demonstrated responsibility. Chances are pretty good they’re going to keep being that way through life.
Thanks RFA. You demonstrate the true meaning of “volunteer.”
Someone who does a job for free you could never pay them enough to do.—M.B.