September 23, 2014

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Feeling like a kid again

Fair-bound animals visit Ridgeville seniors

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Kissing Merlin brought back fond memories for 81-year-old Virginia Overton.

The fuzzy snout of the 4-year-old alpine goat she nuzzled was just as soft as the goats she grew up with, and it took her right back to her younger days on a West Virginia farm.

Some events at the Lorain County Fair:

Aug. 20
• 7:30 p.m.: Comedian Bill Engvall

Aug. 21
• 7:30 p.m.: Diamond Rio

Aug. 22
• 7:30 p.m.: LeAnn Rimes

Aug. 23
• 1 p.m.: Junior Fair Auction featuring market goats, turkeys, market lambs, meat rabbits and meat chickens
• 8:30 p.m.: Celebrity donkey races

Aug. 24
• 6 p.m.: Tractor pull

Aug. 25
• 8:30 a.m.: Junior Fair Auction featuring market hogs

Aug. 25
• 12:30 p.m.: Junior Fair Auction featuring market beef
• 8 p.m.: Combine derby

Aug. 26
• 9 a.m.: Motocross races
• 6 p.m.: Demolition derby
• 8:30 p.m.: Demolition derby

“I love him like I did my own,” Overton said Wednesday.
Merlin got a kick out of the experience too, according to owner and 4-H North Ridgeville Ridge Kids member Alice Shoemaker, 17, of North Ridgeville.

Merlin was joined by chickens, cats, rabbits and baby goats as part of the club’s attempts to “mirror” the upcoming Lorain County Fair for the senior residents at the Northridge Health Center, who likely won’t be able to attend the fair in Wellington when it opens the week of Aug. 20.

Not only did the residents benefit, but it’s seldom that the animals get to chill out in some air conditioning, Alice said.
And it warmed the animals to the glow of the approaching spotlight.

Lottie Boyd, 19, of Grafton, said showing off the twin 3-month-old baby goats, or kids, to 30 seniors served as a good warm-up for the more than 134,000 expected at the fair.

“This is the first time they’ve been away from their mother,” Boyd said of the kids. “But they’re already getting used to everyone touching them.”

The animals weren’t the only show the residents enjoyed.

A checker board set crocheted by Caitlyn Tipple, 13, of North Ridgeville, topped the “let me see that” list, and wowed many of the residents who knew the work behind such a project.

It took a little more than a month to crochet the piece, which also will be on display at the fair. Maryann Feeley, 82, of North Ridgeville, said she couldn’t believe a girl as young as Caitlyn could have crocheted with a style that took her years to master.

“I told her to keep it up because she could do a lot of neat things,” she said. “I tried to teach my grandchildren to crochet at her age, but they said forget it.”

Contact Steve Szucs at 329-7129 or sszucs@chroniclet.com.