Final Dispatch (Number Twelve) from the 2013 Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Fair.

A dozen eggs fill a standard egg carton. My friend Jim Athearn tells me that an egg carton costs thirty-two cents to buy. If you wanted a reason to save your egg cartons, to pass a nice big stack of them on to your chicken-raising, egg-selling friends, now you have it.

These dozen posts about the fair fill but an infinitesium of the planet’s available computer memory. There’s no physical “carton” to contain these posts, unless you count what happens after downloading them onto a CD or some form of memory chip or device. These posts aren’t even dust in the wind…they’re just digits in a box somewhere, and who knows where that box is?

We’ll bookend todays post about the end days of the Fair with self-portraits.


Me ‘n’ the Grim Reaper, communing in the Small Hall.

In the Main Exhibit Hall, on the Very Last Day of the Fair, the Zinniabear’s straw hat has come through four days of display time with no ill effects but a layer of crowd-stirred dust. Zinniabear, however, underneath the hat, has not fared so well.


Pardon me Sir, your chicken-wire armature and florist foam interior are showing.

For well over sixty years at the Fair, the “Floral Arrangement in a Tea Cup” category has been a flower-arranger’s challenge. Many an Island pantry shelf has a “Tea Cups for the Fair” section.


Things are tired at the end of the Fair. These Blackeyed Susans have had it. Even the flowers on the cup look kind of glazed.

Fresh and spectacular four days ago, this pied is fresh no longer. Good for compost, though.


This blue-ribbon shaved-almond topped pied has entered the “moldy oldy” category.

The arrays of picnic tables are not so densely populated on the last afternoon, as mizzle begins.


I don’t know where the fair gets their “oilcloth” table coverings, but there are hardly any two alike.

Out on the carnie “midway” section, a very bored kiddie ride operator/ticket taker waits for the end of the Fair, now just hours away. Then it will be teardown time.


A study in primary colors.

Behind the corn booth, there are no orts to be seen.


No orts here, there’s nobody here but us husks, ma’am.

Over in the almost deserted Stock Barn, a lone chicken waits.


What’s that old proverb?


Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
(Proverbs 11:22)
You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
(But you can, and I’ve actually seen one.)
Pigs in the cold and men in drink make a great noise.

Not even grunting or oinking came from this massive, next-stall, somnolent porker.


What the pig grunts, in various languages
Chinese (Mandarin): hu-lu hu-lu
Danish: øf
English: oink oink
Finnish: röh röh
French: groin groin
Hungarian: röf-röf-röf
Japanese: buubuu
Korean: kkool-kkool
Norwegian: nøff-nøff
Polish: chrum chrum
Russian: khryu-khryu
Spanish (Spain): oink-oink
Swedish: nöff

Bookend Number Two.


Self-portrait on leaving the Fair.
Dusty dust.

And to dust we shall return.

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