International Goat Days Festival – 2009

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Louis dances with the geet Blue Hawaii style.
Louis dances with the geet Blue Hawaii style.

***For this post, text in black is narrated by Louis while text in purple represents comments by Char.***


The weekend of Sept. 11-13, 2009 offered multiple festivals and fairs for residents of the Memphis area.  Germantown, TN held its annual arts and crafts fair… nearby Somerville, TN sponsored a Cotton Festival… the Delta Fair and Music Fest was still in town… Millington, TN threw the International Goat Days Festival –  stop right there.  That’s the one!  Yep! That’s the one alright!! I have a passion for goat and all things related and created. Of all the events and activities going on, how could The Traveling Twosome not choose a goat festival?  You stealing my lines again, boy?  *grin*

Ok – before we proceed, let me first clarify terminology.  If you see the word “geet” (it’s pronounced with the long E sound similar to “meet”) then please understand that I have coined that word as the plural of “goat.”  It’s one of those words I wished existed but didn’t.  But I figured if people can say “fixin’ to” for “about to” and if people can make up their own contractions like “ya’ll” and “ain’t” then no one should mind if I change the plural of goat from “goats” to “geet.”  So geet means goats.  Got it?  Ok – let’s move on to the festival…  Hey! Wait a minute! Not so fast!!! This has a story!! My people, Louis’ new found love of the word “geet” is actually a trouble maker.  Seriously. It’s been known…..  oh, wait, I don’t think Louis actually ever explained the story yet.  OK, it will NOW be known as the word that caused Char to stumble.

Once there was a girl walking down the street hand in hand with the love of her life. Little did she know that a few little ol’ geet would cause such chaos in her world for many months to come. Side by side they walked.  Hand in hand, loving one another’s company, making each other laugh, and stopping every few minutes to steal a passionate kiss. And when we kiss…Ooooh….FIRE! Oh, wait, that’s not part of the story, that’s part of a song!  OK, I digress, back to the story.  SO sorry folks.  I’m sure you’ll find forgiveness in your hearts.  Please?  So anyway, when we kiss (yes, it’s MY story) it’s like the whole world around us stops and everything and everyone disappears and it’s truly a magical moment. *why am I suddenly hearing yet another tune in my head “This Magic Moment”?*  *grin*  Well, we kissed and continued walking and little did I know that the next few moments were going to be so distractingly painful. Louis always mentioned that a particular restaurant had geet outdoors on their patio. Having a fondness for geet I have always wanted to see them.  I really love geet.  I love their cute little faces.  I have always wanted some geet.  Perhaps I may eventually get a few!  So we were walking and talking and laughing and all the sudden, out of the blue, Louis gets all excited, like a little school boy in a candy shop.  He screams out “Oh, look honey!  Geet!!  The geet!!!”.  Now picture my handsome husband literally doing a *Char jiggy dance* in the street while exclaiming there are geet to be seen.  I, too, get most excited and began to look and then BAM!  SMACK DOWN!  I did not know that this street has TWO curbs!  I fell, twisting my ankle like you would not believe and my whole body fell right on top of the twist.  Man, was I suddenly in a massive amount of pain.  An older man, who obviously had one too many, came up to me and said “Lady? You alright?  You really need to be more careful. Had too many drinks tonight?”  My response was to hold out my WATER bottle in front of his face and say, “Ummm, not a one, sir!”.  Louis helped me up and I held on to him.  I hobbled the whole evening refusing to allow the pain to steal my joy!  Yes, folks, Louis’ term “geet” and my passion for them caused me to rip a ligament in half!  However, I refused to go to the doctor for quite some time and eventually gave in.  I wore that ugly hideous NON-Char-ized boot for a long time.  I’m still recovering.  I don’t wear the boot anymore but I still must be very careful since it’s not completely healed yet.  So the next time I hear “Look honey! Geet!!” I’m going to pause, look at him lovingly and ask him if there is an extra curb involved.

"Um, sir... with the camera... can you please get your humanoid wife to stop kissing me?"
"Um, sir... with the camera... can you please get your humanoid wife to stop kissing me?"

Honestly, Char and I had no idea what to expect at a festival of geet.  Just what are goat days?  Why do they get a festival?  Would I be able to milk a goat?  Now THAT would have been very entertaining! Would there be bizarre events such as goat wrestling?  If you had “wrastled” a goat I would have died laughing!  THAT would have been AMAZING!! We went online and found the festival website.  To our delight, the schedule of events included activities such as a goat look-a-like contest, goat fainting, goat costume contests, a goat parade, and more.  We took the drive to Millington, TN to attend the annual goat celebration and we had a blast!  (Of course – it’s us!)

Upon entering the fair, Char and I fed some nice geet, Char kissed a goat,  (*I kissed a goat and I liked it*  Sorry, couldn’t resist folks. I’ve always wanted to make such fun out of that hideous song I heard on the radio.) and we watched a goat fainting demonstration (something I had never heard of before – where goats literally fall over).  I’ve got to say – geet are among the cutest of farm animals.  And they really have unique personalities.  They are amazing little creatures.  Ever cuddle a goat? I’ve milked them too.  I have!  I want some geet!

Playing with, feeding, and petting the geet made me want to own some.  *WoooHoooo* *insert Char jiggy dance* I can just imagine my seven year old son coming home from school and hearing a “baaaaa” outside the dining room window, looking out, and seeing a goat staring back at him.  I can picture him laughing for hours about that.  That would be hilarious!! Char, too, wants to own geet – but for more practical reasons than just practical jokes.  Goat milk, goat cheese, goat milk soap, etc.  I suppose those are good reasons to own geet a well…  Yes, it’s the *earth girl* in me!  So, daddy may I?  May I have some geet please?

Char kisses a goat.  Holy cow.  Cow holy.
Char kisses a goat. Holy cow. Cow holy.

We saw people walking their geet on leashes like a dog.  In fact, many of the geet obeyed their owners better than our dog obeys us!  Ain’t that the truth!  But I still love my Skittles!  Ya know what, honey?  Perhaps she needs a GOAT to play with!?!  That would be awesome! We saw a goat get loose from his pen and run off, almost seeming to look back and laugh as he watched the people chase him to bring him back, having fun with the whole experience.  Yes, the geet indeed seemed to have interesting and unique personalities.

In addition to all the fun to be had with geet, the fair offered rides and games for kids, fair food (much of it actually reasonably priced), Native American demonstrations, and arts and crafts booths.

As we walked along the midway, we also noticed a horseshoes competition.  Two things struck me right away…  one of the players looked just like Hank Williams Jr.  and another brought back memories of the people we all knew who, right after high school, got in a VW van and followed the Grateful Dead or Phish on tour for a year or two.  Of course, Char being her usual competitive self… she turns to me without missing a beat and casually says, “I could so beat you at horseshoes.”   You KNOW I could!  Up for the challenge, sweetheart or are you scared to lose once again to your wife? If challenges like this continue, we might just have to add another Traveling Twosome blog category alongside “Our Travels,” “Small Junkets,” and “While at Home.”  We’ll call it “Competitions” and that’s where we’ll start posting entries such as our infamous billiards Rematch, etc.   Anyway…

Hank Williams Jr. and a Grateful Dead follower play horseshoes at the International Goat Days Festival.
Hank Williams Jr. and a Grateful Dead follower play horseshoes at the International Goat Days Festival.
Char pours cayenne pepper on the corn on the cob.
Char pours cayenne pepper on the corn on the cob.

We continued on and grabbed some fair food:  a smoked turkey leg and grilled corn on the cob to share.  The smoked turkey leg looked more like something you’d see Fred and Barney from The Flinstones eating at a backyard barbeque.  It tasted FANTASTIC!  It had the flavor of ham, which came as a delightful surprise to us. Oh my word……. I am not a turkey fan but this stuff was da’bomb babay!  I need a smoker now….. must learn how to smoke turkey! The corn was tasty and we covered it in cayenne pepper.  Mmmmmmmm.  Well, until the wind blew the cayenne pepper into our eyes.  But still… yumilicious!  LOTS of cayenne in one’s eye can be blinding…..  YEOUCH!!!! I cried….real tears….from only one eye……. Don’t poke fun! You would have too!!

As we strolled through the arts and crafts booths, we spotted a tent of children’s goat art.  Grades K – 12 participated in drawing, painting, and coloring pictures of geet.  As is usual with children’s art presentations, you see just about everything.  It was great to look at the elementary grade artwork.  There’s just something innocent and beautiful about children’s drawings that can bring a smile to anyone!  It was soooooo adorable!!

Does Char look like Pocahontas?
Does Char look like Pocahontas?

Next, we checked out an Indian tee pee and had our pictures taken with a Native American couple in full dress. Suddenly, I want to play dress up!  I do have a Pocahontas costume I made for our oldest daughter, moccasins and all! I played with some spears and wondered why they don’t show “Cowboys and Indians” movies on late night television anymore.  I remember many nights in my youth watching westerns until the televisions signed off for the night with the national anthem.

For our younger readers who have never lived in a world without cable or satellite television, let me explain what I meant by “signing off with the national anthem.”  In yesteryear, TV stations went off the air sometime between 12:00 – 1:00 am.  After their last feature which would usually be a western, Perry Mason, or Charlie Chan movie – at least that’s what I always saw – the station would play the National Anthem while showing scenes of Iwo Jima.  Then, static.  No picture.  White noise.  Until 5:00 or 6:00 am when the station would resume broadcasting.  If my memory serves me correctly, I believe CBS was the first station to begin broadcasting 24×7. They’d just show more Charlie Chan or Perry Mason movies till 5:00 or 6:00 am when the morning news and weather came on.  In my youth I used to wait up to watch “The Odd Couple” and “The Honeymooners” on my pathetically small black and white tube with no cable.  See, I told you I am the coolest! This girl knows how to live!

Leave it to Char and I to find Elvis gear at a goat festival!
Leave it to Char and I to find Elvis gear at a goat festival!

Browsing the arts and crafts booths, we found a business called “On the Rag Designs.”  No joke.  That’s their name.  When she pointed out her name I nearly fell to the ground laughing in shock.  Her son named her business for her. They design things with rags. Well, not rags exactly, fabric. It’s FABRIC, people! It was there that Char and I found an Elvis purse.  Wouldn’t you know that somehow Char and I wouldn’t be able to do anything – not even attend a festival of geet – without having Elvis pop up at some point.

As we were leaving the fair, I noticed a small utility truck driving around with an open back.  I decided it was as good of a time as any to jump in a stranger’s truck and ride for a while.  The event staff driving the truck were good humored about the whole thing and Char turned on the video feature on the camera and took a few seconds of footage before I jumped out.

Click here to watch the video footage (AVI format).  *giggle*  People around us always seem to want to join in our fun adventures!

We left the fair and drove off for more adventure.  As is usual with The Traveling Twosome, our fun didn’t end when we left.

These are the coolest things I have ever seen in my entire life.  Maybe.
These are the coolest things I have ever seen in my entire life. Maybe.

We spotted a Flea Market next door to two really interesting light thingys from decades ago that were meant to look like space age thingys.  I love finding things like this – the light thingys belonged in a drive in cinema from the 60s.  They were wicked cool, dude! It was picture and thrifting time for The Traveling Twosome!

The flea market had some good finds as well.  We stopped at most of the booths and checked out everything from medieval weaponry to video games.  Char found a table cloth that she is going to turn into a long skirt.  Yeppers…… Char is my name and re-purposing is my game! And of course there were hats.

If you’ve followed The Traveling Twosome long at all, you’ve probably noticed that Char and I both have a thing for hats.  Char tried on several hats at the flea market but purchased none. Starting to see a pattern here folks?

As we walked from booth to booth, we kept getting the same question from the vendors:  “you two aren’t from around here, are you?”  After about 5 times, we had to ask what was prompting the question.  Their reply:  “You just don’t look like you are.  Something about you two….”  Char and I went down separate rows of booths and both of us continued to separately be asked that question.  It became quite funny after a while.  It was very comical…. I began to banter back and forth with folks.  I even got made fun of for being the first person an older gentleman has ever met who did not know what a minnow bucket was!  Why would one have a special bucket for minnows anyway?  Do I now need a minnow bucket?  I’m still a tad confuzzled on this one.  Somehow this older dude knew I was from NY.  Go figure!  Do I really look THAT different or something?

Char tries on many hats
Char tries on many hats

We left the flea market, hit the highway, and missed our turn to get back home.  YES!!!  Detour!!! Our detour, however, turned out to be quite the find.  Along the road, we noticed an old drive in market from ages ago in a weeded lot.  It was a place that belonged in a coffee table book.  Maybe one day there will be a Traveling Twosome coffee table book showcasing some of our journeys and junkets. You can be assured that this place will take up a page.  See the picture and you’ll understand…

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Can you imagine this place in its heyday?

For more information about the International Goat Days Festival, visit www.internationalgoatdays.com.

To view our complete photo gallery of our trip to the 2009 Goat Days Festival, click here.

Hopefully we’ve done a fair job of describing this festival (excuse my pun) and the fun to be had each year at the event.  In case we’ve missed the boat, here’s a description straight from the festival’s website:  You’ll see all kinds of goats and civic groups doing all sorts of things but mostly you’ll see all kinds of folks, with their families, having fun.


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