You will probably never see the race I saw today. It has been held for generations at the Tillamook (Oregon) County Fair. This fair was rated by the “USA Today” national newspaper as one of the ten best county fairs in the nation, and Kathy and I happened upon it accidentally as we drove the coastal highway. The Pigs & Ford’s Race involves young pigs and Model-T Fords that have been stripped of their body. The Model T’s are original and authentic, have been used in these races for generations, and are the pride of the families that own them. The race involves heats in which several Model-T’s are hand cranked to ignition by their drivers who then run to small pens containing young pigs. The drivers grab a pig and, holding it in their arms, drive around the racetrack back to the pens and start the procedure over again. The race consists of three laps. Several thousand people filled the stands for today’s races. The Pigs & Ford’s race was preceded by regular horse races which Kathy and I have never before witnessed. The county fair was nostalgic for both of us, since our families were very involved in our local county fairs when we were young. We enjoyed looking at all the entries of young people and adults alike–canning, baking, flowers, animals, etc. We were amazed at the “Queen of the Cows”–a Holstein who weighed 1,800 lbs. and who produces 105 lbs. of milk a day! We walked the farm implement displays, the food lanes–oysters on the half shell were 10 for $7–and they were fresh from the ocean. The midway was busy, and the central stage was filled with one act after another. The evening’s big entertainment in the arena was Country Western star, Travis Tritt.
We also took a morning tour of the Tillamook Cheese factory. We buy this cheese and were happy to find that it is a farm co-op. It was fun watching the employees make, cut, slice, and wrap cheese. While there are machines to do a lot of the work, the process is till labor intensive.
One of the joys of our “encore life” journey this year has been the ability to meet folks along the way. Today, in Tillamook, I met a man who told me how to go crabbing for Dungeness crab. I learned why you use chicken or turkey in the trap rather than fish–seals tear up the traps to get to the fish, but leave the chicken or turkey meat alone, and the crabs like chicken and turkey just fine. I think I can successfully go crabbing now! WEG