The Springfield Fair - Springfield, Maine
From all of us at the Springfield Fair, we would like to express our heartfelt sympathies (and apologies) to the family and friends of the many people who have passed away over the years.
They were important to the fair, but for a variety of reasons (nothing intentionally) did not have a write up in our annual booklet. This little fair would not have survived since 1851 without the many thousands of folks who have supported it, loved it and been a big part of it. Although it is impossible to recognize everyone we do want you all to know that you are appreciated. As you read this years’ booklet and think of your past friends – smile, be grateful for their time, efforts and shared love and remember them, particularly over Labor Day Weekend.
We are saddened, this Springfield Fair season, by the loss of Tina Pond who lived for many years looking north to Mt. Katahdin in “the hills of Carroll” and who was a long-time Co-Superintendent of Livestock, along with Tim Blanchard. Tina was one of the friends and volunteers who, back in the early 90s, did yeoman work – with several others – to revitalize the fair. An ecologist and scientist by inclination and a science teacher and residential life supervisor by trade, Tina lived a green, careful, and thoughtful life, close to the natural world. She was active in localizing science, both through her field work in this region in various research settings and projects, and with her students, both at Lee Academy and, later in her life, at Washington Academy.
A generous soul, Tina was kind to all and found it impossible to say a harsh word to anyone. She loved working with animals and she and Tim, along with Arthur, Larry, Mary, Clayton, and Claire, among others, were a great and congenial collection of personalities who set the tone of education and fun at the barns and with the agricultural activities of the fairs during the 90s and early 00s. Tina laughed easily and she and her kind personality were an integral part of the group of a dozen or so people who comprised the “Planning Group” of that Fair Association.
After moving to Machias, a decade or so ago, Tina devoted her time and professional life to the boarding program, science department and students of Washington Academy, where she was employed at the time of her sudden and untimely passing. We mourn her good spirit and fun, personable ways.
Ken had a long, slow shake of his head when we announced we’d bought the fairgrounds, back in 1990 … but he quickly became an optimistic, enthusiastic part of the group that re-vitalized the Springfield Fair during that era. As generous with his considerable skills as an electrician as he was with his time and friendship, Ken’s expertise allowed essential electrical services to quickly expand the usefulness of the fairgrounds – it was with his design help and wiring that we became able to host nationally
known country and country-rock bands, have additional concession spaces on the midway, and have power to the barns areas and the northern spaces beyond the grandstand and within the midway.
He was selfless with his time, he was a calm troubleshooter when vendors or midway operators or fair personnel came rushing up to him during the hectic moments of a crowded fair with anxious concerns about “No power! What do we do?!” Even though he had retired twice (from the Air Force and his own electrical business), by the mid-90s, he worked late, often, and at odd hours to prepare the grounds, expand the electrical capabilities, and repair concession and other equipment. During the fair, Ken, Tina and Norm would make hasty trips to Bangor or Houlton to supplier warehouses to gather more stock or food. And, insisting on fresh burgers for the fair concessions, they would “hole up” in the dim light of the old Pavilion during the fair and make hundreds of fresh burger patties – sometimes just ahead of the need – to supply the two busy “shacks” of the Fair Association.
Throughout every day of the fair, Ken would smile, visit with friends, offer “advice” to Animal Pulling Superintendent Ron Doane, eat cheeseburgers and chicken burgers and have one-too-many vanilla ice cream cones. As we all did, he sighed with the relief of a job well done, every Labor Day Monday evening when the midway shut down and the fair officially ended, at which time he and Tina, Norm, Charlie and Carol Simpson and Ron and Linda Doane would head to the
Log Cabin Restaurant over in Carroll (population 7, at the time) for an end-of-fair dinner and lots of laughter and sharing of fair stories.
And then, in the lonely days of October and November, he would help return concession stock, shut down electrical services, blow out water lines, help take in PA systems, and generally assist with tidying up the place for winter.
After many, many years of jobs well done, in his life and for the Springfield Fair, he is sorely missed.