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May 26, 2020: No Fair

Now supposedly there is not going to be an Alaska State Fair this year. It’s been cancelled. The executive director, with permission from the board, made this decision and then made it public. Then he took off with his family, on a vacation, leaving a great deal up in the air, the most important thing being, what is to become of the workers? Will they keep their jobs or are they going to be laid off? Right now, no one knows.

Meanwhile, I have heard that there has been an outcry about this on Facebook – some are so incensed that they are threatening (and they are threatening) to have their own fair. I say, good, let them infect one another. There is plenty of

146. Half barrels for summer plants
Half barrels for State Fair plants

burial ground left in Alaska. I told the person who told me this that I don’t do Facebook because this is an example of how it propagates hate. It also makes those who must go on with their lives equally angry.

So, the question that the Alaska State Fair head gardener and her now very small crew must contend with, is what’s to become of the 37,000 plants that will soon be in bloom? And as importantly, what’s to become of the handful of gardens that grace the property?

The plants. Tomorrow the head gardener is going to meet with the three members of the committee who are to assist her in determining what will be done with the plants. Most likely, there will be a sale. This is going to be a complicated matter because the plants are going to have to be prepared for the sale and someone is going to have to advertise what’s available. Then gardeners are going to have to come at designated times and pick them up. I suggested that the purchased plants be distributed, and this idea went over very well.

The gardens. The decision about what will be done with the Eckert herb garden, the perennial garden, and the berry garden is even more up in the air. To a large part, this will be dependent upon if and when the ASF garden staff is laid off. Gardens require ongoing care. If there is no one there to care for them, they will go to seed. If there is a 2021 Alaska State Fair and people are rehired, the gardens will not be in very good shape.

As I was talking with the head gardener, I made a comparison to the Bright Lights Book Project. To keep things going, you need to work with your staff. You need to find out all what’s involved in doing the job and be supportive of the worker’s efforts. Right now, the head gardener, as I often have in working on the book project, feels helplessly adrift. My heart goes out to her. I wanted to give her a hug, but this is something that is no longer safe to do. I could only commiserate at the distance.

I gave the head gardener and her head crew person advice – amazing, they seemed to listen to me. Fingers are crossed that, first, the plant situation will be dealt with in a fair and equitable way. And secondly, that the gardens will be saved. I will do what I can to help out.

Next: 147. 5/27/20: Conversation with mares about the May agility course

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