You could watch, waiting for the floats to arrive, the leaves blowing across the courthouse square. The fair parade, that harvest-time festival was about to kick off, and there were the first fallen leaves, fall’s harbinger, blowing across the square’s blacktop as we waited.


And I suppose on one hand this would be the time to point out that soon enough it’ll be time to put up the short sleeves and get ready for winter. But let’s not. That’s glass half empty and it always seems more useful to consider what you got right in front of you.


Within a few minutes you couldn’t see a leaf on the black top, and you sure couldn’t hear the rustle, as - sirens blazing, blue lights, horses, people waving - the fair parade his town. Leaves? On the tarmac? Forget that, they were tossing out candy by the fistful and kids along the route could enjoy an immediate harvest of refined sugar.


For that matter the sun, which had been beating down, got behind some clouds (and made for some nice lighting for the photographs, if I do say so).


No, instead of what that means ahead of us, let’s take a minute and acknowledge what that means behind us. Eighty years of County Fair, 80 years of people coming together and celebrating harvest-time, 80 years of community.


And candy, enough to fill a glass.


(We have a lot of photos we hope to get online soon. We still have a lot of Chuckwagon photos, same deal. Our dance card stays pretty full, but we’ll get it posted soon.)


The Fair: Per above, the parade was only - literally - the start of it. The fair will be running all week and it’s worth a trip out there. I like a ride and cotton candy as much as anyone (maybe a little less than “anyone,” it’s not like my constitution isn’t getting older) but the big joy is moving through the boothes, checking in with various local organizations and businesses and seeing what’s going on.


Plus, I’m just being honest here, those giant rabbits in the livestock show just flat impress me - every year.


If you see me wandering around (at the fair as anywhere) don’t be shy about saying “Hi.” I like to meet people. (Myself and my guitar, along with other more-talented people, will be onstage Wednesday night for the Praise at the Fair event. I debated putting that in here, but what the heck, columnists get to write about themselves.)


Cops: Speaking of teamwork, getting in front of a suicide. There was actually a debate about running this story. After all, we don’t want to trigger or anything, but it is important to point out that law enforcement is doing more than playing cops and robbers and writing speeding tickets. This was a life saved.


We actually have more police and sheriff news, but only have so much space for this week. We’ll keep you posted.


Shirley: Take a note that the Shirley Mayor dropped us a community update to let us know about the plans for that city. As above, we ran out of room pretty quick this week, but will have updates from the latest Shirley City Council hopefully by next week.


Deer: It’s a big, as in long, story, but deer hunting’s big around here. Pay attention to this wasting disease thing and don’t be the one who makes a bad situation worse.


Convenience: The Casey’s store, construction just starting, looks like good news at a lot of levels, not the least it being an inviting place for northbound traffic to stop, gas up, and add to the county tax revenues. We have it in the article, but just to make sure you see it: Looks like a Jan. 25 opening for the store, one of the biggest Casey’s built to date.


Candidates: People letting us know they’re running are coming in. We’re getting it into prints as fast as we can - the space thing gets in the way sometimes.