When Pigs Fly

racing pigsI went to the Virginia State Fair on my day off (well, it is right here in Richmond, and you can get in for eleven bucks.  A bargain!).  Although I’ve been going to county fairs for years I don’t think I had ever been to a state fair, which is like a county fair in so many ways only bigger and better with lots more places to buy funnel cakes.


I remember a county fair where people tried to climb a greased pole and retrieve the ten dollar bill nailed to the top; another where a bunch of kids chased a greased pig around an enclosure, trying to catch it; but yesterday, at the Virginia State Fair (which is so much bigger and better in so many ways), I saw pigs fly.


Many of you have seen it yourselves. 


I found a place on the bleachers at the racing pig pavilion just before the 10:30 event yesterday and listened to the pre-race patter.  The announcer told us that the pigs were not smacked with a riding crop to get them around the track or lured by a mechanical rabbit like racing dogs are.  “No,” he said, “these pigs race for love—for love of the crème-filled sandwich cookies waiting for them at the finish line.”  And, sure enough, after he had told us their names and numbers (I think Number 1 was “Shakin’ Bacon”), his assistant dropped the gate and off they went, flying around the turns and streaking down the straightaway.


I laughed out loud, and kept on laughing, until the tears ran down my cheeks.


I’m not sure what that says about the new pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church except that, along with all his thoughtful observations about political discourse and the church’s true purpose, he loves a good pig race as much as anybody.


Maybe more.  









4 thoughts on “When Pigs Fly

  1. Hey Jim!

    When I was in elementary school we got off a half of school day and a free admission ticket to go to the State Fair. It was an annual event that we kids all looked forward too. The State fair is a big event and probaly bigger back then. We’d do extra chores and save our money up. Ya see, you HAD to come home with a candied apple and some kind of a stuffed animal, and your hair slicked back from the wind blown look from riding the rides over and over and over….

  2. I am from Iowa originally, home of the Iowa State Fair which is one of the wackiest in the country. Every year there was a sculpture made of butter: “butter cow”, for example. Somewhere on the web you might even find a picture of the butter sculpture of the Last Supper, done by the “butter cow lady” Norma Duffy for one of these annual events. Glad you enjoyed the fair.

    I am pleased that you have created a blog, as this gives a fantastically easy method of communicating (for good or ill).


  3. Jim,
    While I have never seen pigs fly I have seen sheep fly.
    I was at a fair/rodeo in Waco, Texas two years ago. One of the events was when these little kids ran and jumped on these sheep and held on as best they could. And, boy those
    sheep ran everywhere trying to shake the kids off their back. I was a lot of fun. I admitted to my older brother later
    that I wish I could have done what the kids did. It seemed like it was a lot of fun and it made everyone laugh.

  4. Woot Woot for the pigs! They are my absolute favorite event at the Virginia State Fair (other than eating food that I later regret and winning goldfish that die some time in the middle of the night)! Did you get to see the potbelly pigs? They were SO funny! I hope “Tyrone the Terrible” is still racing. This blog is SUCH a wonderful idea. I feel like I’m right there in Richmond 🙂 You all are constantly in my thoughts and prayers, and I cannot wait to see everyone again. Best wishes!

    In Christ’s Unfailing Love,

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