Memories outlast exhibits

Melanie Salazar: Freedom Newspapers

Dovie Marie Littlejohn has been to the Roosevelt County Fair for at least 20 years, making a point to enter something every time.

“One of the reasons I do it is to help,” she said. “If no one entered, it wouldn’t be much of a fair.”

Littlejohn’s gardening skills have also earned her some recognition at past fairs, as she usually enters a variety of fruits and vegetables, recently taking home best in show for her grapes. She also shows off her artistic talents in the fair.

“I paint nearly everything,” she said. “I like flowers and southwest art a lot.”

Although Littlejohn said it may be a little late in the year for her to enter any vegetables, she hopes to get something in to this year’s fair.

Her paintings and gardening results make up just a few of the many exhibits that will be on display during the Roosevelt County Fair, set for Wednesday through Saturday at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds.

Keeping the categories full isn’t the only reason Littlejohn enters every year. In her 20 or 30 years of participating, she said her favorite moment was when one of her entries took the highest honor.

“My favorite is when I win best of show,” she said. “I won one year with my flowers. It was shocking. That’s why it was important — because it was a surprise.”

Winning best of show also tops Verdena Massey’s list of fair memories, which date back through 50 years.

“I like the needlework part — the quilts and crochet and things like that,” Massey said. “I’ve crocheted quite a few doll dresses and gotten a few blue ribbons for those.”

Massey, who remembers going to her first fair after getting married 55 years ago, submits something every year, but now gets to enjoy the different categories as a spectator as well.

“My grandkids enter pictures and things in the fair and I like to look a those too,” she said, conceding that some of their interest may be inherited.

“I have one little grandson who wanted to enter something because I have entered things before.”

Speaking as an experienced fair-goer, Massey said she tells her grandchildren not to get discouraged when they don’t win.

“I just tell them not to expect a ribbon every time.”

Whether it’s entering vegetables, paintings, or simply browsing the different categories, Roosevelt County Fair veterans seem to flock for the same reason — to have a good time.

“It’s always a lot of fun,” Littlejohn said. “It’s a nice fair.”

For Massey, the fair is just too fun to stay away.

“I enjoy it a lot and that’s the reason I keep coming back,” she said. “It’s something to look forward to every year.”