At the age of about 12, she was showing award-winning cows with her sister, Betty, at the local Fair. Those memories are precious, she said, and formed the basis for her love of the Fair, a love that continues today as she remains involved in the annual event steeped in tradition.
“It’s just a part of who we are,” she says.
A visit to the fairgrounds Friday found Emily and her husband, Stan, working to prepare the
display at the entrance of the main office.
In keeping with the theme of this year’s fair, she and Stan had restored on old milking machine used on the family farm when Emily was growing up to compliment the display. Pasted on the front is a picture of Emily and her sister when they were showing one of their dairy cows at the Fair — the cow, Meadowbrook Lilly, which she recalls was purchased from Mr. Peck Barnes at Cyruston back in the day, won the show and went on to win state and national honors.
Also front and center, is Sugar Babe 113 — Stan’s creation which also recalls the days of his youth.
“When I was a kid, we had a cow that we’d milk and carry the milk to the house, and her name was Sugar Babe,” he said, explaining his creation is a nod to those days, and of course, 113 refers to this year being the 113th Lincoln County Fair.
“Dad would give me a fourth of the milk check every two weeks,” he reflected. “I may have gotten $12 or $14, and that was a whole bunch of money back then — why, Emily and I could go out on a date for $5.”
A former president of the Lincoln County Fair, Emily has also served as president of the Tennessee Association of Fairs (TAF), of which she currently serves as executive secretary. Her dear friend, Ruthie Jeans, is also a past president of the LC Fair and currently serves as immediate past president of TAF.
In addition to the potted flowers, picket fence and bales of hay, the display also includes a series of vintage milk cans, each restored and featuring pictures from the Lincoln County Fair across the years.
“This is something we just enjoy doing,” said Emily. “When I was growing up, I had this thing about newspapers … I kept all kinds of clippings, from everyone who got engaged to pictures of the Fair. A lot of these came from other people, too. All of them just show the tradition and history that the Fair has in our community.”