We pause to honor the memory of great people who have passed away since our last meeting.Fifty-nine of our friends and family have crossed the great divide and entered into lifeeverlasting. We miss them because of the warm friendship they brought to our gathering and the wise counsel they offered their respective fairs and to the Association. After the reading of their names please stand in silent tribute to their memories.
Evelyn Wagoner, 100, widow of Newell Wagoner who was a past president of this association and president of the Boonville Fair for decades. She was a warm, friendly, and cheerful longtime volunteer at the Fair. For a number of years she ran the spelling bee and the Pancake House and frequently attended this convention.
Cortland County Junior Fair
Robert H. Bush, 49, had been involved with the fair for 24 years and was currently serving as a member of the board. He was extremely helpful and for the past few years had served his dad, Dick as his right-hand man. He was quiet, proud, loyal and very committed to his community and the fair.
Clinton County Fair
William Bill LaPage had served the fair as a director and also Manager.
Bernard Barber had been involved as a director for many years.
Delaware County Fair
Robert Cole, 74, of the Delaware County Fair served on the Board from 1983-1988. He enjoyed tractor pulling with his family and tractor called “The Bandit”. He and his wife, Lyn, owned and operated a local dairy farm. They were always willing to assist and participate with the pulls. They met many fair people all over New York and beyond as they traveled the NYTPA circuit. His warm smile and personality will be sorely missed.
Richard Northrup was born on the family farm and loved everything farming including the Delaware County Fair. He was attracted to all the animals and farm machinery. A humble man, he donated time to making minor repairs without being asked. He repaired roof edges, and memorial plates on benches, raked pine needles and cones, mowed grass, and painted posts. He was enthralled with the Antique Engine and Machinery building and had donated many of his tools for display. In 20213 he was recognized a Fair Person of the Year.
Jim Taggart served as beef superintendent for many years and capped off his fair leadership role as a director for 5 years. His love for agriculture will live though his grandchildren who show at the fair in various livestock shows. Jim was also a member of the Catskill Mountain Antique Engine Club and was active in building the fair’s famous Antique Machinery Barn, Jim will be remembered for his ability to keep it simple, practical and to tell you exactly what he was thinking, no matter the subject.
Uva Scott filled out the remainder of her father’s term on the board and served as fair secretary for years. As a country girl, she was instrumental in bringing the demolition derby to the Delaware County Fair. Uva’s involvement didn’t stop there, she cheered for her nephews in multiple cattle shows and gave support to them in the demolition derby. Her willingness to help anyone or give advice will always be treasured by those who knew her.
Dutchess County Fair
John Jack Pulver, 85, began his career with the Dutchess County Agricultural Society in 1953 when he was appointed as an Associate member and moved to full membership in 1974. From 1989 until May of 2019 Jack served as a Director of the Agricultural Society. Jack served as president of the Ag Society from 1989 until 1990 and held the position of Dairy & Livestock Superintendent for many years. In 2018 Jack was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Agricultural Society. Jack was an active member of many organizations as a 4H leader, FFA advisor, the Eastern NY Holstein Association, and chairman of the ENY-USO Futurity Committee for 45 years. He was honored with the State’s Retired Master Breeder in 2018 and was the first to receive the Friend of the New York Holstein Award in 2007.
Andy Imperati, Sr. Big Andy, 83, began his career with the Dutchess County Agricultural Society in 1985 when he was appointed to membership. Andy served as a Director from 1986 until 2012 and served as President of the Ag Society from 2008 – 2009. In 2012 Andy became an Honorary Director. Andy was known as an idea man and was best known for his big smile and cowboy hat. When anyone was looking for him, they were told, “Just look for the man wearing the snakehead cowboy hat – that’s Andy.” He started a 4H Beef and Poultry Club, served as the Beef Cattle Superintendent for many years and implemented the first Youth Livestock Sale in 1980 at the fair following up with a Buyer’s Appreciation Picnic in September. To give the kids something to do on the last day of the fair after they were done showing he created the Sunday fun games. He also involved the public with games such as the Husband Calling and the Chicken Clucking Contests.
Erie County Fair
Paul Schrober, 55, had a thirty-year career as an entertainment and concert promoter and as a talent buyer for various venues, including the Melody Fair Theatre in North Tonawanda, and the world-renowned Chautauqua Institution. His most rewarding role was as the longtime Director of Entertainment at the Erie County Fair and Exposition, and Fairgrounds Gaming and Entertainment, positions he loved because of the terrific group of people he worked with. Paul had the opportunity to meet, book, and work with a huge variety of performers and entertainers, across numerous genres including Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, ZZ Top, Charlie Daniels, Kelly Clarkson, Black Sabbath, Willie Nelson, and Evel Knievel, and events including tractor pulls, freestyle motocross, car and bus demolition derbies, jugglers, clowns, magicians, and racing pigs.
Herkimer County Fair
Natashia (Tasha) Clark, 35, had helped in the show ring for over ten years and was especially dedicated to the Demo Derbies. She served her community as a volunteer member of the Sauquoit Fire Department and leaves behind two children and her longtime partner.
Jefferson County Fair
Frederick L Bolio, 82, served as a Director for over 30 years. He was active on many different committees and also served as Chaplain when needed. He was extremely active in the Grange at the fair and at the county and state levels. He and his wife worked at the Grange food booth at the NY State Fair for many years. Fred also was a Baptist minister and for many years conducted the ecumenical church services at the NY State Fair. One of Fred's proudest accomplishments at the Jefferson County Fair was being the Superintendent of the annual high school band competition.
Donald C. Charlie Bolio, 73, had served as a director for over 20 years on committees such as entertainment and grounds. He was instrumental in the annual set up of the booths and displays in the arena, chaired the Games of Chance Committee and handled the sale of pull-tabs at the fair. He also chaired the annual Karaoke contest at the fair.
Lewis County Fair
John W. Burr, 79, had served on the Lewis County Agricultural Society Board of Directors and Board of Managers since 1974 and was Chairman of the Entertainment committee during that time. He handled most of the Master of Ceremonies and public address announcing during the fair. He also announced at many fairs throughout New York State including the Herkimer County Fair and was also an announcer for stock car races, snowmobile races, and tractor pulls, queen pageants, demo derbies, and talent shows around New York State. John served as a director of the NYS Association of Agricultural Fairs and was the Association’s president. He was inducted into the Association’s Hall of Fame in 2015. He was also very active in the New York State Tractor Pullers Association and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2016. John was the voice of North Country auto racing since 1967 and was a founder of Evans Mills Speedway and announcer for Evans Mills, Can Am and Adirondack Speedways. He was also track announcer at Super Dirt Week at the NYS Fairgrounds for several years. John will always be remembered as the Voice of the Lewis County Fair!
Livingston County Fair
Joe Hynes, 77, was an advisor in the Ag Department for eight years. He was known as a combination of kind, giving and bossy.
Ricky Rossborough, 63, was continuing his more than 30 years of involvement with the fair in the areas of security, grounds, and fair mechanic. A huge NASCAR fan he was kind, supportive, fun and devoted to his family.
Steve Carpino, 57, was serving the fair as a member of the Coty Crew and anything else that was needed. He was hard working, a great guy, and a welder.
Martin (Marty) Johnston, 74, was serving for 25 years on the Hemlock Fair Board. He was a storyteller, a hard worker, kind, dedicated to the fair and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
Steve Krenzer, 60, was currently serving as 2 nd Vice President. He had been active in the fair for 20 years and 15 years as a board member. He loved animals, agriculture, and woodworking. He was remembered as hardworking, dedicated and loyal to the fair.
Oswego County Fair
Robert (Bob) Henderson was a life member of the Oswego County Fair. He had been involved as a young child helping his mom, Ila, in the grange and Domestic Arts Building. In the early 80s he started to organize the Gas Engine Show, which is a popular show today. Bob helped many people at the fair including Oscar and Helen Grosman, Alice Bacon, the Chattertons, Gary Sweeney, Jerrry Thomas, and Wayne Lindsay. He proudly showed his 1928 Model A truck, that he rebuilt, in the car show every year.
Brian Parker was one of the younger life members who lost his life in a truck accident. He was quiet and had good ideas for bettering the fair. Brian brought many loads of snow for the Snowmobile Show this past winter. He was always willing to lend a hand to get the job done and will be missed for all his thoughtful deeds.
Robin Seaman was a faithful member who was an entry clerk in recent years. She managed the computer and organized the ribbons for the Cattle Show and the Domestic Arts. Sometimes her workday started at 6:00 am and ended at midnight or later. Robin helped with vendors, the horse show and may errands.
Irene Nellis was a life member of the Oswego County Fair. She and her husband, Joe, who passed away last year, worked side-by-side in Antique Tractor Show and Tractor Pull. She was interested in the Domestic Arts and loved coming to the fair every day.
Saratoga County Fair
Rick Leahey, 74, had been involved with the fair for more than 30 years and was an ad-hoc member of the Education Department. He helped his wife Sue, with that department and was often seen lugging boxes of pies for her. A genuine, caring, and hardworking man he also worked on the bike giveaway, donut and pie eating contests. Rick was known to have a quick wit and a handsome smile, earning him the nickname of Silver Fox from his family. He wasn’t a very loud man but when he spoke, you listened.
Richard "Dick" Horstman, 91, was still active with the in the Antique Machinery Department. His dedication to the fair spanned more than 70 years and he could be counted on to provide education to fairgoers. Dick and his wife had their first date at the Saratoga County Fair in 1949. He was always friendly and reliable and used to dress up as Uncle Sam in the annual fair parade.
Anne Whittmore, 54, had retired as the Exhibitor Entries secretary after 10 years. A reserved, dependable, and kind person she had attended this convention several times.
Marie Hettrich, 86, was still active the fair as an ad-hoc with the talent department serving as the right hand of Audrey Poitras who coordinated the talent show. She also assisted in the education department and is remembered as a caring, dependable and determined person. She was fond of sharing a big hug and an even bigger smile with everyone.
Cartlon "Skip" Pott, 80, had been Involved in the horse departments and was a 4-H instructor for wood working for more than 15 years. Father of current board member Kerith Pott, Skip supported his family with their 4-H and fair activities.
Jane Potter, 76 had been involved in the Grange Food Booth many years ago and most recently as an ad-hoc in the Grange Department. Jane coordinated the Grange exhibits for many years, taking over the role from her sister, Fran Potter, and in the early 90s worked alongside family members, Dorothy & Henry Rowland in the Grange Food Booth. Always friendly, she was fairminded and hard working.
Tim Smith, 73, was active on the Antique Machinery committee for more than 10 years. He was compassionate, genuine, reliable and enjoyed puttering with his antique engines and was a great observer of people and enjoyed all things scientific.
Seneca County Fair
Ralph Walborn, Sr., 75, was a dedicated director until the time of his passing. He helped or was the lead person running our Demolition Derby for more than 50 years. He was well known, funny, loved, helpful, and thus was a great resource for getting things done and often walked the fairgrounds wearing his straw hat, listening to music or chatting with others. His love of the fair was instilled in his son, Ralph, Jr. who worked beside his dad for 44 years.
St. Lawrence County Fair
Harry Parow, 61, had been involved with the fair for 50 years and was now serving as President. He was a lifetime member and was active in 4-H, FFA, and as President of the St. Lawrence County Holstein Club. Known as the Enforcer, he was dedicated, humble, and had a heart of gold.
Washington County Fair
Robert Bob McKernon, 80, served as Jr. Cattle Barn Superintendent in the 70's when the oldest of his 5 sons began to show cows. As the years progressed his 5 sons showed Holsteins, Jerseys, and then Polled Herefords, which were Bob's favorite. Fair week was always a special time for Bob to visit with family and friends. A summer activity that he and his wife enjoyed was visiting other fairs throughout the state.
Roland Rollie Mann, 86, served as fair director from 1994-1997. He was very involved in keeping the Methodist Church Fritter Booth operating. For many years he made the dough and delivered it to the fairgrounds. When he no longer made dough he did daily checks to see that all was running smoothly. During the off season he made many repairs on the building. Rollie and his family also maintained a concession during fair week. In 1997, he presented a resolution to the County Board of Supervisors asking for a fair sign to be placed near the Northway exit.
William Bill Sebast, 76, grew up showing many breeds of poultry at the fair. He served as Jr. Barn Superintendent for 10 years. He encouraged the young people to do their best and worked diligently to improve the appearance of the poultry building. Bill was also very community minded serving as a volunteer fireman for over 60 years.
Ruth Brown, 86, was an active member of the history committee for many years. In 1990 she researched and co-authored a booklet 1890-1990 History of the fair for the centennial celebration. In 1997 she asked the fair board to create a Christmas Tree and Green Department. She was then appointed Superintendent of that Department and served in that capacity from 1997- 2009.
Pearl Brownell, 83, was the Junior Grange Superintendent for 27 years. She was also a member of the Pleasant Valley Grange and helped create and set up their annual fair exhibit. On Senior Citizens Day Pearl always made sure there were cookies to be handed out in that building. She was also a member of a local square dance group, which performed at the fair for many years.
Phyllis Clark, 85, served as co-superintendent of the Domestic andHomemaking Department from 1989- 1993. She enjoyed entering knitted and crocheted articles for competition. She also volunteered in the farm museum during fair week.
John Clark, 89, served as director of the fair from 1989-2010. He was dairy cattle superintendent from 1991-1996 and dairy barn superintendent from 1997-2006. John looked forward to the fair each year, especially the cattle shows and judging.
Morine Moe Talmadge, 58, was a long- time cattle exhibitor of both dairy and beef. She was a hard worker who loved her animals. She was always willing to help others no matter how busy she was.
Andrew Jock Williamson, 58, grew up at the fair as his parents were superintendents of various departments and showed cows and poultry as a youngster. His involvement in community and county organizations continued to keep him involved throughout the years and he could always be found checking out the many events during fair week. He always had a ready smile and loved to make sure his sisters and Dad were doing their superintendent jobs in flowers, poultry, and horses the rightway.
Bruce McWhort, 83, was an important person to many cattle exhibitors in the county as he transported their animals to and from the fair. He was a very quiet caring person to both people and animals. During the week he could be found watching cattle shows and motor sports events.
Grant Weaver, 48, started participating in the fair when he was old enough to join 4-H. He loved animals but his passion was horses, especially rodeo events where he made many friends. Grant and his father were in charge of the rodeo at the Washington County Fair. Grant was always a very popular participant at the Washington County Fair and other places.
Herbert Backus, 76, was an antique tractor and equipment restorer. He was a member of the Northeast Tractor Club and wasinstrumental in organizing the club's display at the fair. He was one who loved to show people how some of these antiques worked.
Helen Woods, 94, had an extensive collection of antique canning jars. She showcased many of them at the fair for many years and had so many that her display was always different. She used her amazing knowledge to talk about the many differences in these jars.
Henry Peabody, 78, and his family have shown dairy cattle for many years at the fair. But Henry was most proud of his Charolais Beef Cattle, which he insisted on showing himself. He also trucked a lot of cattle to and from Washington County Fair and many other fairs around the state. Fair week was one of Henry's favorites so he could "catch up on the news". He always had a smile, a wave, or a hug for everyone
Harold Craig, 88, was a dairy cattle farmer and exhibitor for many years along with his 3 sons. Harold gained some fame as a winner of the Sixty- Four Thousand Dollar Question in 1957. He donated a large sum of money to a local hospital and spoke at many events in the county. In 1958 the district attorney in NYC began investigation of the "fixing of the show" where contestants were given help on answers. Harold was called to testify before a grand jury where he insisted he had not received help and challenged anyone to match wits with him. He lived his whole life within a half-mile of where he was born and volunteered in many capacities for his community.
Ray Pfeiffer, 74, showed Ayrshire cattle with his family and he owned and showed many breeds of chickens. In the 70s Ray was instrumental in raising funds to help build the poultry building. He was also a member of the Fancy Feathers Poultry Club and helped organize poultry auctions and tailgate sales. The proceeds helped get siding on the building and the floor put in.
Roger Seacord, 82, was a director from 1962-2003. (41 years) His family raised and showed Jersey Cattle. Roger served as both Dairy and Beef Superintendent from 1979-1982. He continued with only the Dairy Superintendent from 1983-1990.
Lois Kirk, 82, was the Washington County Extension Agent and served as Extension Superintendent at the fair from 1975-1983. She did face-to-face judging with 4-H children through 2006 when she moved out of the area.
Washington County Fair friends included faithful volunteers who provided on-going support
for many years to family members who were involved with showing animals, exhibiting, or
providing services for the fair attendee:
Gloria Graham, 76
Ferdinand Delisle, 66
Joyce Mattison, 81
Wayne Fitzgerald, 82
Catherine McEachron, 95
Friends of our Fairs
Rachel Coleman, 92, of Middletown, Connecticut and Florida, was well known throughout New York and New England. She and her late husband Bob Coleman, along with their children and grandchildren had operated Coleman Brothers Shows for decades. Known for her signature laugh and smile she was kind hearted and had reached out to help many during her lifetime.