Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Finer Points of Swinedom

Mr. Charleston, always alert to different and exciting life experiences, decided over this past holiday weekend to take in that perennial Baja Georgia favorite... the Labor Day Swine Classic.

My travelling partner on this day was my good friend Pat, who upon receiving the invitation remarked, "What?  Are you inviting me to a hog show?"  "Yeah," I replied.  "You should be flattered.  After all, how many girls get invitations to a hog show?"  "Besides," I continued, "we can finish it off with lunch at the Kingsland Catfish Festival."  Being a country girl, that last bit got her.  No respectful Bajaian can refuse a fried catfish lunch.  So, bright and somewhat early on Saturday morning, we set off to the bustling metropolis of Callahan for a day of down-home country.

When we got there, we found the competitors riveted in anxious anticipation of the impending competition.

The contestants, ready for action.
This hog show stuff can be big time business.  Note generator for powering fans in the trailer.

No being able to afford a generator, this boy keeps his hog cool the old-fashioned way, by spraying him with water.  Note the belt buckle.  A first-place trophy from another show.

Now we're getting down to it, the contestants enter the ring.

The idea is to parade the hogs around in a circle, under the watchful eye of the judge.  Someone forgot to tell the pigs.

The judge, a high-school teacher, took the time to work with every one of the contestants.  His instructions:  always keep the pig between you and the judge and always keep an eye on the judge.  I missed exactly why they were supposed to keep an eye on the judge but as you can see from the girl behind him, the contestants often had more pressing matters to attend to, like a pig making a break for the hay.

A veteran.

Hogs will be hogs after all.

Having had our fill of hogs, we turned our attention to the catfish festival.

Enjoying a 90 degree day whilst making four pots of ice cream.  A really interesting contraption powered by an antique Briggs & Stratton.  I liked the t-bucket parked out back.

Never too early for Christmas stuff.  A porker of a different sort.

I had never seen this before.  I wondered how long these kids could stay in there before suffocating.  I didn't find out.

Redneck entrepreneur.  An old lawn tractor and a few 50-gallon drums and you've got a ride worthy of Disney.

And, of course, the ubiquitous pony ride.  I always feel sorry for the ponies, no matter how many times I see this.  But the kids sure enjoy it.

It was only later I realized that we were so hungry for catfish that I completely forgot to take a picture of any.  Oh well, a ride down the coast and across the St. Johns River ferry finished the day.  Got home in time to put my feet up and enjoy a beer and an afternoon of college football.

Eat your hearts out city-slickers.


  1. Charleston you swine...tempting us like this. Oh well, here on the plain Plains, we still have the Bull Balls Festival out yonder somewhere.

  2. There is an eerie connection between this post and the last. what exactly is cat fish fried in? and there is a connection in swine...but this city slicker is too busy shooting at pigs to worry 'bout any of that.

  3. JJ... a fun morning. I like to connect with my country roots every now and then.

    WM... something tells me you already know the answers to your questions.

  4. I really liked this post. I enjoy seeing bacon in all its forms. But I am a little confused by Baja Georgia. I have never heard of that. I only know of Baja California.

  5. Tongue in cheek for North Florida, Squirrel. North Florida is more a part of Georgia than it is the rest of the state.

  6. lgsquirrel...some joke, I don't understand it either.
    Must be some sorta Georgia-damn-they-are-a-broke-back-state-Boy insider thingie sorta.
    But damn them there pigs sho' look like some good eatin'. yum yum.

  7. My favorite Termites post, ever!

    Above the caption "...we turned our attention to the catfish festival," I do believe you got a shot of three of the five people over the age of 12 in the entire venue who had not previously grossly overdone catfish consumption.

  8. Punch... Of course you don't understand it. Who in God's Waiting Room part of the state does?

    Nance... Oh no, not just catfish, I didn't show you the BBQ grill!

  9. I suppose that is the state of Florida to which you refer?

  10. love this post!
    it reminds me in many ways of the Royal Agricultural Show that comes to sydney every easter. the RAS is the only place i normally see young boys in buttoned shirts (except school uniform) just like the boys with the hogs :)


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