PRAIRIE CITY - Well, I went to the fair, and I watched the smart pigs and the flying dogs on the day when it wasn't hot and not raining. But I wasn't able to determine if any of the fancy needlework was "chicken scratch," because I couldn't get close to it.

I really like the photo that Billy Drinkwater entered, "Here's the Beef." I voted for it for the people's choice award. Then Derrol had to determine where the photo was taken; up Indian Creek, he surmised.

So that's over with for another year. And now it's only 115 days until Christmas. I've got a gift started ...

Buzz, Jim and Marvin did the early-morning set-up. Ruth and Jim delivered nine meals. Pam, Lou, Vivian and Louise did their usual excellent job of serving.

Buzz led the flag salute and Marvin Hatfield asked the blessing. Jim Howard was awarded the $5 gift certificate donated by Prairie Drug and Hardware.

We started with pickled beets, moved on to red potatoes with string beans and ham, continued with red Jell-O and meatloaf, accompanied by Parker House rolls. We finished up with peach cobbler. Whew.

The after-dinner crew of Marvin, Jim, Billy and Bob washed the tablecloths, swept the floor and moved the chairs away and back while Eula, Leone and I got the books taken care of. Ruth McPherren helped Buzz prewash the silverware. The fork I had needs an adjustment; one tine is bent sideways and forward. Feels funny leaving your lips.

The Blue Mountain Nursing Home ladies, Lorna Askew and Leslie Davis, brought LaVerne Matteson, Lois Terryberry, Elmer Terryberry and Daphne Andrews.

Valley View Assisted Living Facility driver Kim Ausland delivered Myrtha Fields and Gerald Franklin. Jim Lunzman dined with his distant relative Gerald.

Then, when Kim got ready to go back to John Day, she couldn't get the big van to start. So she asked our resident auto mechanics to help. They offered to give it a kick in the tail pipe. But the problem was in the other end. The ignition and transmission interlock system had slipped a bit.

They got it started by putting the transmission in reverse! Hey, whatever works. I assume they made it home OK.

The talk around the table concerned how friendly East Oregonians are. Dennis Reynolds has proven this scientifically.

And we've noticed it driving back and forth to the Portland area. As soon as you get off the freeway, the natives will wave at your car. Always makes us feel good.

And if you have a flat tire or other auto breakdown, others may pass you by, but a native East Oregonian, 99 percent of the time, will stop to offer assistance. Makes you proud, doesn't it?

Lamentations 5:4 - We pay for the water we drink, and our wood comes at a price.

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