I spent the past week running lights at both the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition in Mineral Wells, West Va. and the Buchanan County Fair in Grundy, Va. Growing up in the Chicago area, county fairs are a new thing for me. I grew up going to outdoor festivals in Grant Park and when I was younger I went to the Minnesota State Fair every summer in St. Paul. County Fairs are completely different, especially in Appalachia. In Mineral Wells, I worked with Billy Bob, the lead stagehand, and more people came to see their family and friends in the Country Showdown than came to see Chuck Wicks perform. In Grundy, I had a very hard time understanding anyone speak, and they had equally as much trouble understanding what I said. The main industry in Grundy is coal, something else I’m not familiar with to the extent that it is prevalent in Grundy. The actual fair grounds were on top of a mountain that had been strip mined. It was quite an experience, and for the time being, I am country music-ed out.