Saturday, September 17, 2011

Young's Jersey Dairy and YARN? A Travelogue....Part One

Some years ago, I went to Yellow Springs, Ohio, to see what on earth could be going on at a dairy -- a fiber fair was alleged to be going on there, and I couldn't quite believe it.  But -- I went.  Yellow Springs is near Dayton, Ohio, in the middle of dairy and corn country, lovely rolling fields, healthy stands of deciduous trees and conifers, stunning wildflowers (at this time of year, mostly golden hues).  Then, it was a small affair, enclosed in a single good-sized building, with maybe 20 vendors.  They had great ice cream at Young's Dairy -- I remember that part vividly.

Well.   I saw the notice again on Knitters', where I go for information about fairs and festivals, and was astonished to see how many vendors had signed on.  So this morning I quickly got a cute little red Focus from Enterprise Car Rental and headed to Yellow Springs.  I learned two things along the way -- maybe three things.  First:  Ohio is just as rollingly beautiful along Highwyay 68 as I remember, and there are more Amish than I recall.  Marvelous black buggies, beautiful horses.  Second:  The corn is MUCH less ripe than it should be -- heavy rains?  Late planting?  Warm weather in late September?  Look at how green it is!  (Click on shots to enlarge):

Third, and perhaps most important:  Gasoline in central Ohio is 3.39 a gallon, not the 3.70 we are paying.   WHY? 

So I arrived at the Dairy and encountered a huge surprise:  Once, this was a small-scale dairy store on beautiful grounds.  Now, it's a full-scale amusement park, complete with miniature golf (called Udder and Putter, for god's sake).  Here's the ice cream building and a small part of the blocks-long parking lot.  And here is also a small slice of the amusement parkl, complete with children:

But let's get to the point.   "A Wool Gathering" begins with a big, bright blue banner:

As you walk through the gate, you find HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of people, all having the most magnificent time -- including dozens of members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, two of whom can be seen in this shot (to the right):

Notice the SIZE of those big tents -- my photograph doesn't begin to capture the scale of things.  This fair has exploded over the years.  I found some friends inside, but also some new people -- like Michelle the spinner and two gifted woodworkers whose buttons and spindles I bought in profusion.  He of the spindles works under the name "Sunset Turnings," and I must say he knows a thing or two about wood finishing.  She of the buttons has THE cutest calling card I've ever seen (it's a piece of wood in the shape of a button!!!) -- Brenda K, of "A Remark You Made."   Both of them have shops, and I hope you'll all go have a look.  I bought more wooden buttons than is decent.

I can't download more pictures (at my limit), so I'll undertake another entry:   svb

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