My Fair Gigs Are All Gone

Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I wrapped up my Mogen’s Heroes summer tour with a performance at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron this past week.
I retired from playing in the band several years ago but for some reason, John Mogen keeps inviting me back to sing with the guys at their fair gigs; The Sioux Empire, Turner County, Brown County and the State Fair in Huron.
It’s still great fun..especially when the Tri-State Neighbor farm magazine sponsors us and my old pal Jim Woster gets up to sing with the Heroes too. His rendition of “The Auctioneer” song always brings the house (or tent) down.Okay, here’s a rare back-of-the-stage view of a Mogen’s Heroes’ performance. That’s John Mogen either blessing the audience or completing a Liberace-type arpeggio. Jim Woster is challenging the crowd to have him sing the Auctioneer Song at light speed. Drummer, Bill Hoffman (who outsings us all) prefers a folding chair to a drum stool. Denny Gale is one of the most talented guitarists I know and can actually play as fast as Jim can sing.
I know a lot of people are worried that because of the recession, dwindling attendance and a huge budget cut this year, the State Fair might not survive to celebrate its Quasquicentennial (125th anniversary) next year.
To be honest, I didn’t even walk around the midway but driving onto the fairgrounds, it sure looked like every available parking spot, for both campers and cars, was occupied. The turnout for both of our shows was very good  and I understand there are more vendors than ever this, I’m hoping for the best. Huron could certainly use some good economic news.
Regardless, the State Fair always presents opportunities for a guy with a camera. Here are a few of the photos I snapped on my visit.I couldn’t find either Fred or LaMont but, from the looks of their new red pickup, business must have picked up from the days of their TV show. While I was on stage singing, I heard what I thought was a heckler hollering "BAAAAAAD" from outside the tent. When I went to confront this music critic I discovered it was actually coming from a a sheep who was not too happy about being sheared right down to its skin. That’s Heather Larson of Wessington Springs driving the clippers.  I asked why she was cutting so close. "Ya gotta crop ‘em tight," she said, " so the judges can clearly see the sheep’s body definition without any wool in the way.""Working with these little guys so they sort of become like pets?" I asked."Not really. These are market lambs so they won’t be around long.""You mean this little fella will soon be a chop on somebody’s plate served up with mint jelly and mashed potatoes?" I said."I’m afraid so," she said.Seems kind of a shame, I suppose, especially after such a nice haircut."I don’t imagine you ever bother naming these animals," I said."No, but you can if you want to." Heather said." about Chislic?""Yummm..sounds good to me."Sort of ironic that some of Chislic’s kinfolk might have been served up just across the street as delicious chunks of deep fried mutton. By the way if any of you have lost an apostrophe..I found a couple misplaced ones at this Indian Taco stand.Well, next week, Linda and I, along with 50 or so other Keloland fun seekers, will be heading off on our Railroading Through the Rockies tour. I plan to do lots of blogging along the way.Wouldn’t you know it…my laptop computer was attacked by a virus worse than the swine flu on Thursday.It was so severely infected that our teriffic I.T. guy at Keloland, Landon Rae,  had to finally end up wiping the hard-drive clean which is no small task. I am deeply in his debt.Why oh why are there evil computer hackers out there whose sole purpose in life is to make other people’s lives miserable by dreaming up and launching these computer crippling viruses?They deserve a special kind of punishment.I wonder how they’d taste cubed up and deep fried.Bon Voyage!  

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