Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Rock County Porkfest proves to be about good food, family

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Greg Peck
Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Rock County Pork Producers' Porkfest is one of my favorite summer events in Janesville. It helps that my wife, Cheryl, and I can walk over to the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds from home.

I was glad, then, that the drizzle that plagued much of Wednesday had dried up by suppertime. The pork producers know how to grill a delicious chop. Cheryl took the single-chop plate for $9, while I took two for an extra buck. The meals were tasty, as always, but I wished they came with something better than those flimsy plastic utensils.

Afterward, I grabbed what I believe was the last available éclair (sorry, those who missed out) and a cream puff for our desserts. (I do miss the days, however, when 4-H clubs offered slices of homemade pie).

Then Cheryl and I checked out the show of classic cars, a bit sparser cluster than expected as the drizzle kept some owners from rolling out their polished prizes. Cheryl and I were surprised to find her cousin Jeanne and husband Wayne showing a sharp 1966 Plymouth Satellite. My brother Tom, the Mopar lover, would have been drooling over the 383 engine.

We wound up visiting with Jeanne and Wayne for quite some time. Jeanne's daughter and their grandson bicycled in for a chat, too. New City Manager Mark Freitag, with his wife, daughter and grandchild, strolled past and also said hello. Freitag knows how to make an impression, or at least stick out, wearing what probably were the only sport coat and tie on the grounds amid the sea of jeans and T-shirts, shorts and sneakers. Not even the political candidates and their representatives were dressed that spiffy.

“Well,” I told Freitag, the former military man new to Wisconsin, “You're getting another taste of culture in the Midwest.”

Farmers put on Porkfest like a big family, and family ties run through the 4-H clubs, too. I realized that Porkfest was not only about food and fun but family, as well.

Soon, the Satellite rolled away, and for $10, Cheryl and I grabbed a bag of four seasoned chops for the freezer. We returned home, and though it was later than we had expected, we still had time for our planned two-mile walk with Molly, our cairn terrier. The pooch was up for the outing.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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