Thursday, August 09, 2007

Live From the Iowa State Fair

I arrived today at about 9:30 this morning for a two-day tour of the Iowa State Fair. I'm going to try to do a whole bunch of updates to this post, so I don't have a long list of separate posts. I'll treat it like a kind of intermittent liveblog. I'm also going to be doing a bunch of stories for Iowa Independent.

So far I have eaten one corndog (from the stand right behind the DM Register's building.) and had one small root beer (from the stand next door).

11:26 a.m.
I just watched Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul at the Register's Soapbox. I spoke with both of them, and will be writing stories about it for Iowa Independent. Now I am sitting at the Iowa Telecom Technology Park, under a nice shade tree. Somewhere in the distance, I hear "Big Balls" by AC/DC.

Here are some photos I snapped of Ron Paul (above) and Duncan Hunter (below).
Newt Gingrich is wandering around here somewhere.
12:21 p.m.
Started south on my way to the 4-H Building, and ran into Gary Belzer, of Albia. Had a nice chat. Also ran into Mark Pearson of WHO Radio's The Big Show. He's an important voice in the world of agriculture, for his work on The Big Show and also on his public television show Market to Market. I introduced myself, and had a nice conversation.
The crowd is pretty big as far as I can tell, especially for mid-day on opening day of the fair. Usually the biggest crowds are on the weekends, but it's already kinda tricky getting from place to place.

I drank a Pepsi at the 4-H Building.

2:13 p.m.
I spent quite a bit of time walking around up by the new Knapp Animal Learning Center. I'll have a story all about it for a post later today on Iowa Independent. It's quite an impressive facility, and it's only partially completed. I understand construction of the building was finished only very recently. Nevertheless, it's definitely one of the major new attractions at the fair.

On the way back to the media center (I had to come in here because the laptop battery is dying) I ate an order of cheese curds:

4:06 p.m.
Okay, I just got done following Sam Brownback around. He's still out there enjoying himself at the fair, probably still munching on a pork-chop-on-a-stick. Here's a pair of photos:

Brownback speaks the language of Iowa State Fair-goers better than the other candidates who have visited today. He had the full media treatment as well, with a bunch of TV cameras and reporters following him around, unlike Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul. Brownback struck up a nice conversation with a guy waiting in line for the pork chops.
Little-known Republican candidate John Cox is also out and about right now at the fair. I'll see if I can run into him next time I go out.

I drank two glasses of lemonade, one from a stand by the Varied Industries Building, and one from a stand near Ye Old Mill. And after watching Brownback eat that pork chop, I couldn't resist and had to get one for myself. It was absolutely wonderful.

5:39 p.m.
Just got a couple of stories posted over on Iowa Independent. Check em out if you get the chance.

Took a nice break and sat in the shade for a while by the Bill Riley stage. I was amazed to see five 9-to-10 year old girls dancing on the stage to Motley Crue's "Girls Girls Girls." I wonder if those girls' parent know what that song is about?

Food Update: I ate a dozen of those miniature donuts from the St. John's Basilica Catholic Church food stand over by the ag implement displays. And a glass of iced tea.

Here's the Channel 13 "Cast Your Kernel" poll total so far:

6:21 p.m.
Just took a walk through the midway, and over by the Ye Old Mill again. I had intended to go down by the Livestock Pavilion and then go up the hill, but I was drawn by a trio of street drummers, making some glorious and amazing music using only water bottles, wooden stools and kitchen pans. Then I went over to the Steer 'N' Stein and got a $5 plastic glass of Budweiser. Then I decided to sit in the shade again for a little bit. Hillary is way ahead now on the kernel count, followed by Edwards. Romney's winning on the Republican side.

7:52 p.m.
Went and met up with my mom, dad and nieces for a little while. They were going to eat supper, so I went with them. We went to the Cattlemen's Beef Quarters, where I ate a hot beef sundae (mashed potatoes covered with roast beef and gravy, with shredded cheese and a cherry tomato on top). Washed it down with an iced tea. On the way back here to the media center I got a root beer from the A&W stand by the Beef Quarters.

Going to probably sign off for tonight. The media center closes at 8 p.m., and I don't have any battery power left. I'll be posting more tomorrow, so be sure to come back!


John said...

Blue Oyster Cult just hasn't been the same since Gene Frenkel died. They really need that cowbell.

Michael said...

Did you ever run into Cox?

He's usually surrounded by a throng of one, maybe two people, rambling on as if he's addressing 10,000.

He's truly a riot. Read up on this guy before interviewing him. For someone who's got $11K in the bank, he sure talks a big game.

On the other hand, try to get Huckabee instead. He's at least got a prayer of getting more than 100 votes in the straw poll.

Dien Judge said...

I did not find him yet. He is scheduled for the Register Soapbox tomorrow, as is Huckabee. I'll be watching.