Fit for Fair

Vera Greenbush (front row, second from left) paused for a snapshot with nine other Lyon County 4-Hers in late August 1943, after arriving on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

State fair trip thrilled farm girl 75 years ago

By Seth Schmidt

Fifteen-year-old Vera Greenbush had never ventured beyond Lyon County. And yet, here she was, in August of 1943, stepping off a bus on the state fairgrounds in St. Paul.  With the Amiret farm girl were other 4-Hers who, like herself, had also never been far from home.

One of the 4-Hers, a petite girl from Ghent, gleefully twirled around, while getting a first look at the exotic surroundings. Like a star-struck Judy Garland, the 4-Her excitedly exclaimed,  “Look!”

Seventy-five years later, Vera Anderson cherishes the memory.

“She was expressing what we all felt,” the Tracy woman reflects. “Going to the state fair was a big thrill for all of us.”

Qualifying for the state fair was a huge honor, she said, as only 10 Lyon County 4-Hers made it to St. Paul that year. The 1943 trip marked the first time many of the Lyon 4-Hers had traveled to the Twin Cities, according to Mrs. Anderson.

“That was the first time I had ever seen a Ferris Wheel,” Anderson says. “People didn’t travel then like they do today.”

Now 90, Mrs. Anderson continues to take an interest in 4-H, and her home club, the Amiret Busy Bees.  This summer, on the 75th anniversary of her state fair trip, she made a point of attending the Busy Bee’s ice cream social.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.