I was thinking about the fun I had working in the Extension booth at the Newton County Fair as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard the other morning.

The job was to pass out brochures and information to those who stopped by the booth. There were copies of the newsletters, recipes, and information on how to protect your animals from ticks.

Sometimes we were unable to answer questions. One lady asked a question about her goats. Neither one of us at the booth could answer her, but gave her a card for Dr. Jodie Pennington, who is a small ruminant Extension specialist stationed in Newton County.
We talked to families about 4-H and how good it is for their children. The Master Gardener booth was next to us, so we were able to use their expertise for the gardening and flower questions.

Staying in one place and working a booth has the advantage of seeing most of the people who pass by.

I was fortunate to see many former students and their families. Some I had not seen since they graduated from high school. Thankfully, many came and introduced themselves and gave me their name.

Teaching the length I did at Neosho High School and Crowder College, I had about 5,000 different students. I do not recall all their names, and they change in name and looks.
Children of former students like to hear what their parents did in high school. Sadly, I do not have a story for each former student.

One special pleasure came after the fair was over. A former student's mother, Judy Brown, mentioned her son had been sent to Afghanistan. She said each week Jeff sends home a "missive" about the adventures of the week. A few days that she sent me copies.

The missives are well written and filled with incidents. One was about the Fourth of July. "We did have fireworks that evening. Not the kind we're used to. Some of the 'bad guys' launched two 107 rockets toward the compound. They fell short."

Take a walk, work a booth sometime, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.

Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.