Junior fair board alumni share memories

Logan Smallsreed, 11, of Southington, a member of the 4-H Trumbull County Dairy Judging Team, has a little talk with “Edith,” his 4-month-old red and white holstein junior calf. Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple

BAZETTA — Wendy Butler of Alexandria, Virginia, said she expected to be among those who traveled the furthest for the first-ever Trumbull County Junior Fair Board reunion Thursday.

Butler, a Farmdale native, was joined by others who were part of the junior fair board in the 1980s and early 1990s as they reminisced of the fun they had at the fair, including often using the public address system to locate people since there were no cell phones back then.

Callae Moody of Orwell, one of the reunion organizers, said an ice cream social event brought back alumni who participated in junior fair board when they were in 4-H and also honored members leaving the junior fair board because they have turned 18.

“As junior fair board members, we put together events such as the kiddie tractor pull and showmanship and all the ribbons and help prepare for other 4-H events at the fair,” Moody said.

Matthew Byler, 17, of Bristol, said he enjoys the annual leadership conference held in Columbus and also helping at the fair office and other places during the fair.

“We help organize all the ribbons that are handed out,” he said.

Larry Beadsley, who is a 4-H adviser, was a Junior Fair Board member in 1960 and 1961 when the fair was held in downtown Warren.

“Being involved at the fair was always exciting. I was representing Juvenile Grange at that time. It was a time to be with my friends. My daughter was involved in 4-H 35 years ago, and I have been involved for many years,” he said.

Beadsley brought books from the 1960s fairs to the event.

Butler said she was part of the Trumbull County Beef Boosters and the Pins and Needle Sewing Club and, having grown up on a farm in Farmdale, the fair was a big part of her life.

“My dad was a 4-Her and my grandfather a dairy farmer,” said Butler, who said she believes she drove the furthest to the event.

Butler said she was active in junior fair board in late 1980s and early 1990s.

John Giltner of Wooster who is a Harford native was the junior fair board president in 1989 and also one year named Junior Fair Prince.

“It was great to be part of the junior fair board and great leadership experience. You got to meet the kids from all the other clubs and areas that you would not get to know otherwise. I have made so many friends since my involvement in the fair,” he said.

Giltner said he remembers going to the state fair for the competitions and to watch others compete.

“We were all on the junior fair board at the same time. My sisters were on. My kids are on the junior fair board now. They are third-generation 4-H kids and third-generation junior fair board members,” Virginia Eltman of Warren said.

Catherine McCauley, Eltman’s daughter, who is on the junior fair board, said it is fun to hear how the fair has changed since her mother was on it.

“Today when we need someone, we call them on a cellphone and tell them where to meet us or go. My mom and others had to make announcements over the loud speakers to have people report places. It is a different experience today, but just as fun,” McCauley said.

Kevin Trumbull of Champion, formerly of Fowler, said there was a bad windstorm one year that blew down tents.

“Everyone is used to the rain and weather at the fair. You have to deal with it,” Eltman said.

Butler said she agreed it was a good leadership experience.

“It was always something positive and fun to do. We got to know each other at the fair and then met places outside the fair. We were at parades and camp counselors at 4-H,” she said.

Gary Kibler of Lordstown said he has three generations in his family who have been part of 4-H, with his sons showing cows and other animals.