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George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

George Jones August 6, 2010 Freeborn County Fair

A reasonable adult, mature in my 29 years, I'd like to think I generally give pretty good advice. Often along the lines of "Don't date him," "He's no good for you," or even an occasional (gasp) "He's just not that into you," I occasionally even follow my own advice. Heh, well, rarely when it comes to men. But when it comes to watching George Jones play from his extensive repertoire of hits while standing around drinking malt liquor in a beer garden, I'm proud to say I'm 1 for 1.

Last week, I advised readers of Are You Ready For the Country to check out George Jones' $9 Friday night concert (or free with gate admission) at the Freeborn County Fair in Albert Lea. Add a few bucks for cheaper-than-State Fair fried foods and beer garden beverages, and here's what my money bought me:

Calories consumed by way of stick: porkchop, corn dog (large), corn dog (small), hard-boiled egg, drunk porkchop. And by basket: cheese curds, deep-fried oreos.

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

A bovine peepshow.

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

A chance to hang out with these cool dudes.

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller
George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller
George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

 

"Demonstrations."

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

A visit to where the locals hang out. The local fish, that is. Note: this is not a weird green koi.

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

A wingspan assessment.

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

A free alligator show. Note: "pick me" kid did not get picked. :(

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

Raunchy silhouette art in the crafts building?

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller
George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

Something to remember, alway.

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

Totally legit gambling. (Your grandma says so.)

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

 

Other people's children, doing things children enjoy doing.

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller
George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller
George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller
George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

The beer garden: where those with clever shirts are detained

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

 

All this, and of course the chance to see the great George Jones, who kicked off his 90 minute set with a rendition of "Why Baby Why," that nearly made me cry, baby, cry. The song was slowed down to a trot where it usually gallops. The Possum's a little slower, a lot older (maybe he does need that rockin' chair after all), and while the quality of his voice is unique as ever, when he croaked out the line, "I'm just a little bitty puppy yet" (blaming his hoarse voice on allergies), I cried a little bit. It was too much. In that moment Jones became a sweet little old man, and broke my durned heart.

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

Throughout the set, Jones was clearly giving it his all, even managing to eke out one shhhhhhhhhiccup! during "White Lightning."

George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10
Photo by Nikki Miller

Grab a "He Stopped Loving Her Today" one size fits all nightshirt on your way out, and I'd say the whole shebang's nine bucks well spent.

Pretty good advice, Nikki. Thanks, Nikki!

Critic's Bias: This critic gets awful drunk in beer gardens. The Crowd: The old ones were sporting George Jones t-shirts. The hip ones were sporting David Allan Coe ones. Overheard In The Crowd:"I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America. And to the Republic..." Random Notebook Dump: Bottom line: (Then nothing. Too drunk on Bacardi Silver and far too excited to buy a clean white George Jones trucker cap to finish writing up my notes, apparently.)


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