It was Bureau County Fair Week. It was August. It was hot and dusty.
My husband, Buck, had spent the last week, days and evenings, standing in the Allen Building at the fair with many other local merchants advertising their businesses.
Buck and his dad were co-owners of Sutliff's Home Furnishings and they brought a sampling of recliners, sofas and tables for people to see. Buck enjoyed visiting with friends and fair goers. But, after a week of eating hot dogs, elephant ears, popcorn and getting less sleep than normal, it was a relief to finally get home.
Exhausted, he arrived home the last night from the fair around ten, kicked off his shoes, grabbed a full jar of peanuts and a coke and collapsed in his recliner.
While he had been at the fair, our five year old daughter Kim, was fighting strep throat. She had been ill for a couple days and was in need of medication. I called the emergency room and they said to come to the hospital and pick up a prescription.
I hated to do it, but we really needed to get that prescription and so I asked Buck if he would drive to the hospital and pick up the medicine. He put his shoes back on and off he went.
I became concerned when he didn’t return home after an hour then another hour. I began pacing and watching out the window. When finally a car pulled up in front of the house and another car pulled up in the driveway. Buck wasn’t driving, but his mom was and his dad was too. The three of them came in the house. He had a sheepish look on his face and his dad and mom were clearly amused about something.
The story began to unfold that when Buck arrived at the emergency room to pick up the prescription, the nurse (whom he described as a tough old bird) told him to have a seat. While he was waiting, a fellow from the fair who had been in the motorcycle races was rolled in on a gurney, though not seriously injured, he was banged up pretty good.
The rest of the story I can only imagine because Buck fainted. He took one look at the guy on the gurney and he passed out cold. He was put on his own gurney and when he began to come around...the tough old bird was cleaning the jar of peanuts off of Buck’s shirt and every time Buck attempted to sit up, the nurse pushed him back down. He needed a drink of water, desperately.
By now Buck and the nurse were pretty well acquainted and the only way he was getting away from her, was for her to call his mom and dad to pick him up and take him home. The rest, as they say, is history.
This all happened fifty years ago.
The Bureau County Fair is now the longest running fair in Illinois. 164 years old!! The date this year is August 21-25 2019. Betty