Monday, July 28

boone county fair

spent the last week working long days at the county fair. like any good team, our photo staff left it all on the court. the fair itself struggled a bit with the weather. stormy the first few days and then unbearably hot. lessons learned: stop torturing myself and wear shorts, less planning and more wandering, fair car racing calls for earplugs, take at least one ride on the ferris wheel, more carnival, more scene-setters, less "event" and more "life."

Emma Piotter, 11, holds Brixie, a dark Brahma Bantam rooster, as sister Corey, 13, cleans his feet before the poultry competition on Wednesday.

Sydney Westfall, 12, pets her rabbit Daisy in the small animal tent.

Alex Kerr-Totten, left, watches as judge Tony Perryman evaluates his chicken during the poultry competition. Kerr-Totten won the reserve champion ribbon for the large hen category.

Zach Westfall, left, and Kyle Perry, right, react to an unfavorable first place decision by judge Sharon Stephens in the Mini Rex breed category. Perry's sister Laura took the championship ribbon.

(Left to right) Kelly Wilsdorf, 13, Kelsay Bruns, 11, Laura Perry, 11, and twins Ella and Clara Wright, 11, wait for judge Sharon Stephens during the Best of Breed Class 4 bucks compeition in the Small Animal tent.

Braden Clayton smiles at the judges during the 2-year-old division of the baby boy contest.

Danielle Mortimer performs a baton routine that earned her second place in the junior talent show.

Bryan Biswell, 14, right, smiles as Boone County Fair Queen Ally Walker exits the stage after kicking off the Fiddler's Frolic.

Johnny Izgrig, 17, and Leslie Rice, 16, of Centralia, watch the side-by-side mud racing through the Grandstand fence.

Dawn Sherrill, Boone County Fair Queen First Runner-Up, wipes mud from her boots before entering the multipurpose room for the talent show.

Derrek West, 12, waits outside the barn after cleaning his steer for competition.

Sarah Grant, 10, leans on her steer Gabriel after cleaning him for competition. Grant raised the steer from a bottle calf. "He's so sweet," says Grant, "He doesn't really care if I lay all over him."

Sarah Grant, 10, relishes the moment after getting a blue ribbon for her steer Gabriel as her father David, left, praises her performance in the ring.

Sampson, a Boston Terrier, carries a horseshoe clipping around the barn before the start of Society Horse Show Finals.

Boone County Fair Queen Ally Walker kills time before a ceremonial ride around the main arena for the Society Horse Show.

Cheryl Perkins relaxes as a friend styles her hair for saddlebred competition in the Adult English Pleasure Championships.

Cheryl Perkins rides Trefethen to a second place finish in the Country English Pleasure Championship at the Boone County Fair.

Kara German rides Worthy's Sunflower in the Pleasure Equitation Championship.

Saturday, July 19

randomness. i've been working on a story since memorial day, hence the daily grind posts. more on that later.

backyard mood lighting.

big necklaces are all the rage. didn't you know?

local soccer team holds a last practice in the dark before an international tournament.

creek walk on a rainy day.

local drum corps and dance team practice for upcoming shows.

Friday, July 4

in the summer months our sports department is strapped for stories. with no collegiate games and the nearest pro-baseball team in st. louis, they start thinking outside the box and we get some great non-traditional stories. i wish we did more of this during the sports high-season. there's a lot of passion at all levels of play and great stories on and off the bench, or field, or sportscourt.

pee-wee football

a local fire cheif's son was the focus of the story that day. bo suffered a concussion the day before and was unhappy sitting out most of that day's tournament play. "Coach I feel fine, I really feel OK."

sarah carlisle started training dogs at age 8. she was the youngest person ever to win the U.S. National Junior Dog Agility Championship in 2006. the dog she competed with in that event died two weeks later of kidney failure. "I learned that you never know when your last day with that dog will be. You just have to love them every minute."

she's starting at the bottom of the dog agility circuit again with two new dogs, mira and charlie. "I compete for the joy of my heart and the love of my dog," she explains. Ribbons don't mean much.