A Man in Demand

On Wednesday morning I spent some time at the Clark County Fairgrounds, riding with Fair Manager John Morrison in his golf cart. Morrison was showing me what’s new this year. (You can read about what’s new in Friday’s newspaper, and I’ll cover Friday morning at the fair for Saturday’s newspaper.)

I wasn’t the only person who wanted to talk to Morrison. Wednesday was the day when exhibitors started showing up, and food vendors were getting set up too.

“How long can you go without someone asking you a question?” I asked.

“Three minutes,” he said. That was exaggeration, because someone was coming up to him every minute. After my quick tour, he said he would probably have 35 emails and eight voicemails waiting for him at his desk. He had both a cell phone and a walkie-talkie, sometimes carrying on two conversations at once (three, if you count talking to me.)

Quickly it became clear how seriously vendors and exhibitors take their assigned spots. A few approached John with concerns, and he assured them nothing had changed.

A chart isn’t convincing enough. He said he has a photographer document everybody’s location.

“I tell her I don’t need the photos to look pretty,” he said. He wants a reference point, such as a pole, in the shot, too.

I mentioned that I heard Commissioner Marc Boldt’s Young Life booth was switching from beef to chicken.

The Young Life booth did get a new spot, Morrison said, pointing out its location.

“Is Commissioner Boldt OK with that?” I asked.

“Yes,” Morrison said. “I think I would have heard about it otherwise.”

Morrison said Wednesday was “organized chaos.”

“And tomorrow will be pure chaos,” he said. “But it’s fun.”

Here’s what Morrison looked like last summer — after the fair was over:


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