With the flurry of summertime activity, it seems like a century ago I made downtown Indy my home for a week.
It’s no secret I had a wonderful time at the 2013 National Holstein Convention and, as I attend these events year after year, I’ve come to realize that although framed with the same business schedule and focus, each convention has its own personality.
Yes, being hosted by different states each year is reason enough for the vast differences, but honestly, it’s the personalities of the people that make each convention not only different, but special.
I love Indiana Holstein breeders. Maybe it’s because they live nearby and I interact with them more frequently, but I think it’s because they are just really great folks. As I roamed the convention halls, every person in their official Indiana Holstein red shirt was as nice and cordial as the next. Even though they were busy, they all seemed to have enough time to visit or answer my questions.
Each day brought something fun and exciting, and this day was no exception, the day the black-and-white-spotted Indy racecar arrived. If getting caught taking pictures in the American Dairy Science Assoc. meetings wasn’t enough trouble, I also got busted for sitting on the fender of the genuine racecar featured in the sale arena.
As we snapped a few photos, the authorities came in and began telling us that was a big no-no. Hustling away from the car, acting as though it wasn’t me they just caught getting a picture with it, I decided to lay low for the rest of the afternoon and act like it didn’t really happen. Feeling like I had gotten into enough trouble for one week, I was ready for things to settle down.
Later that evening, as I walked through the crowd at the Indy Night dinner visiting with people and enjoying the social atmosphere, two friends of mine from the convention – let’s call them Charmaine and Lucinda – stopped me dead in my tracks.
Charmaine: Melissa, we heard you were posing for pictures in the Indy car earlier today, is that right?
Me: Yes, oh, that was so fun until I got busted, but I’ve been trying to lay low.
Lucinda: Yes, well, that’s what we need to talk to you about – apparently the Indy car has been damaged.
Me: What? Seriously? You’re joking, right?
Charmaine: No, we’re serious; it’s been damaged and because the surveillance cameras recorded you sitting on the fender, we know it was you who damaged it.
Me: Really? Come on – cameras?
Lucinda: Yes, really, and you’re going to have to pay for the damages – apparently there was a hairline fracture in the fender.
Me: Oh for heaven’s sake … you’re joking.
(At this point, I’m beginning to believe them and wondering how much this stupid picture was going to cost me, and feeling really bad that I did it and so embarrassed at the whole incident. I was convinced my name was Mud in Indiana and they would never let me back in the state for another Holstein event – and I really liked these people. Ugh.)
Charmaine: Yup, we got it all on camera, I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to pay for it.
I looked at Lucinda, hoping this whole thing was just a bad dream … then, she broke down and started laughing. I was so relieved – and we all had a good laugh at their flawless acting job and my gullible reaction.
Like I said, each convention has different personalities that make these events so special. Even though I got busted taking pictures at the ADSA meetings and for sitting on the fender of an Indy car, thank you, Indiana, for an unforgettable time!
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Melissa Hart may write to her in care of this publication.