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Show that you care

Ashley Robinson has always loved the Nambour show – a day for city and country folk to rub shoulders and celebrate all things rural.

One of my favourite times of the year is the Sunshine Coast Show at Nambour. And it’s on this week – a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our rural past and future.

As a short, fat child, I used to endeavour to eat my way down sideshow alley. But before I was let loose, I had to pretend to be interested in the displays, whether Dad had entered a pineapple or Mum a cake, scone or jam in the ‘best of show’ categories. I used to be like a staffy on a lead at the beach – just pulling like mad to get to the fun stuff.

When I finally got off the lead, I would be gone until my paper-run money ran out, then back to Mum or Dad separately to weasel some more funds from them.

Dagwood dogs – seriously, if there was an Olympic category in the 1960s for how many you could eat, I would have been the Mark Spitz or GOAT (greatest of all time) in that department. All would be washed down with Coke or Wimmer’s sarsaparilla and soft serve ice cream.

In between power eating and drinking, there were the rides. Some did chance losing everything that I had just consumed, but it was always a risk worth taking. House of horrors, ghost train, the bearded lady, Fred Brophy’s boxing tent (“Come one, come all” – mostly from the bar) and heaps of other attractions kept people entertained and the cash register ticking over.

As a kid growing up and out, I wasn’t really aware of how important these local shows are for our past, present and future.

They are run by volunteers, offering all types of entertainment and allowing most aspects of rural life to come together with a coastal community. It was awesome then and it’s awesome now.

On June 16, there is another reason I think about the show. I have written about this many times, so sorry for that, but that is the day my Dad died 39 years ago.

His last words as he drove past the Nambour Showgrounds in pelting rain were: “I feel sorry for those sideshow people”. He passed away 60 seconds later.

So, if you get a chance, go to the show, and remember to tell those around you that you love them. You never know what can happen next.

mm

Ashley Robinson is the manager of Alex Surf Club and the chairman of the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

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