I used to go to a lot of horseshoe tournaments. My ex-husband played in as many tournaments as he could get to (still does), which meant I spent the summer baking in the heat at tournaments all over the state. It was a lot of fun, if you don’t mind the heat and the humidity, and sometimes I miss going. It was fun sitting around chatting with the other horseshoe wives (the ones who didn’t also pitch), and sometimes I’d go exploring whichever town we happened to be in.
The tournaments that were probably the most fun were at the state fair. They hosted tournaments everyday, with the state championships on the weekends. The horseshoe courts there used to be in a high-traffic area right across from the nicest bathrooms on the fairgrounds and close to food, so it was about as perfect a location as you can get.
But eventually, the fair board decided something else should occupy the space next to Little Hands on the Farm, something more farm-related than an old farmers’ game, and the horseshoe courts were relocated, making way for an animal nursery. It’s a very nice nursery, but I do miss the courts being centrally located.
As we were leaving the fairgrounds after the last tournament at the old courts, I snapped this picture of the scoreboards. The way they were all out there in the middle, I had the feeling they were a bunch of old friends, standing around discussing all they’d seen in the past ten days: all the ringers, the near-misses, the celebrations and heartbreaks. Despite its bittersweet quality, this is one of my favorite pictures ever; it just feels so dynamic, as if the scoreboards had really come to life.
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