My girl came home for a visit, and we went to the County Fair, which might have been Thing the Second if the weather hadn't been very hot and not at all Fall-like. How is the Fair where you live? Our Fair is a very rural affair, mostly animals, which all give you a suspicious side-eye as you approach, and the cows are all aimed business-end out, so I feel an extra need for vigilance in the beef and dairy barn. They are all raised by wholesome-looking teenagers who listen to country music and do crossword puzzles or sleep in the hay in the next stall while their animals are on exhibit. Outside are fried pickles and Oreos, NASCAR trading card booths, 4-H macaroni projects. Bucket-sized cups of fresh lemonade. We got all rhapsodic over the vegetable exhibits; the idea of someone curating their six most perfect cherry tomatoes, carefully delivering them to the Fairgrounds on exhibition day, hoping for a blue ribbon and the accompanying cash prize of 75 cents, it just seems so beautiful. Imagine the farmer's wife in her calico apron, picking that one most exemplary leaf of kale, maybe wrapping it in a damp paper towel and holding it on her lap in the truck until it could be laid carefully on a paper plate for judging. She is famous for her kale. She wins every year. Nobody can touch her for kale perfection. My friend Al bought most of a cake for eight dollars--one piece was missing, the piece tasted by the Home Arts judges. Can you imagine a better cake than one bought at the County Fair; a perfect, buttery, careful cake, someone's very best effort, missing one telltale piece?