Friday, October 17, 2008

Bean Art At Its Finest

Today is the first full day of the North Carolina State Fair! Yeah! Cotton candy, Emu burgers, ice cream, midway games and rides, agricultural exhibits and contests....ahhhhh, the smell of fresh manure.

I believe that every citizen of a state should attend their state fair at least once ever 3-5 years. The trip is one of those events that kids remember all their lives. My strongest memory of a state fair trip is the one where my younger brother, Joe, got lost (I don't remember the particulars, I think we were somewhere around 14 and 12). Our mother panicked but when we returned to the fair to find him he was calmly sitting on the grass at a rest area drinking a Coke. He had run out of money and found a dime and bought a drink. When Mama asked why he didn't call our friends' house to tell us where he was he said, "I was thirsty and knew you'd show up sooner or later."

My favorite part of the fair is the craft exhibits. No kidding. No matter what year, some kid from Ayden or Bear Grass or Climax or Fletcher will have created a map of North Carolina using every variety of bean grown in the state. I love that!

Think about it; for months a piece of plywood has been lying on newspapers spread out on the the dining room table. It's surrounded by bowls of dry beans, glue, a map of the state, pencils, and the spray stuff that will secure the beans and make them shine. The kid's mother has been bragging to everyone at work, church and in the neighborhood about the project. Dad thinks it's all a little silly but he's not saying that if he's got any sense. A little brother or sister has knocked the bean bowls off about every other day and has now been told to stay away from the dining room. The kid has been hurrying to finish school work every night so he/she can work on the bean art. Weekends have been consumed with the project. When the family transported the bean art to Raleigh they did it with as much care as the Secret Service uses to transport the Constitution.

And the piece wins a ribbon! It doesn't have to be a blue ribbon, any ribbon will do. So now the family can return home triumphant!

In the movie, "The Replacements," Gene Hackman is the coach of a team of replacement football players during a strike. He tells his players, "Glory once won never leaves a man." However silly you might think the bean art might be the kid will never forget he won. And winning once sets the stage for winning again. And that can mean a successful life.

Whatever you've won at, glory in it. Use the fact that you have won as a step to a little bit bigger win. Or, to a really big win. Everyone, at some time in their life has been a winner. Take that and run with it.

Have a great weekend.

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