Fair remains a 'little piece of home'
for Pete DeWeese
Saturday, July 27, 2013 9:30 AM
Name: Pete DeWeese
Current city: Alpharetta, Ga.
Occupation and what it entails:
I teach at Milton High School (Ga.). I also coach Football and Golf at Milton.
Tell us about your family: I am single with no children. I am the son of Fent and Bettye DeWeese that still live in Philadelphia.
What are your hobbies and favorite past times?
I am an avid sports fan, a movie and music enthusiast, an ardent reader, and somewhat of a foodie. I am fortunate that I love my job so I spend most of my time working.
How long have you been coming to the Fair?
I was born a Fair-goer and I have remained one for 32 years. I was seven months old for my first Fair.
Tell us about the cabin you are staying in.
Cabin 40, the Richardson cabin, has been in my mothers family since the original cabin was built by my great-great grandfather W.W. Richardson, one of the founders of the Neshoba County Fair.
We don't know the exact year that the cabin was built, but we know that the Richardson family was one of the first to build their own cabin on the grounds. We had to rebuild the cabin several years back when a tree fell on a neighbor's cabin and caused ours to tilt and lean.
Much of the wood from the original cabin was preserved and was used to rebuild the cabin as it is now. I appreciate that history.
We don't sleep as many people as many of the cabins out here, but what we have is perfect for us and our Fair "family."
What are some of your favorite memories of the Fair growing up as a child?
Friends and family will always be a part of my Fair memories. Our little corner of the square was a great place to experience the happenings of the Fair while growing up.
When I was younger I was fortunate to have many of my DeWeese cousins nearby in cabin 32 and many friends nearby in other Fair "neighborhoods" like Happy Hollow.
Most of my fond Fair memories revolve around those friends and family members.
What do you like best about the Fair now?
I try to make it home 4-5 times a year to visit but the Fair is the only time where I am basically guaranteed to catch up with old friends and relatives.
I have not really lived in Philadelphia in 7 or 8 years and over that time I have really come to appreciate this aspect of the Fair.
What events or happenings do you attend each year at the Fair and why?
The length of my stay varies pretty much every year because I have to get back to Georgia for the start of football camp.
That really determines what I am able to attend while I am here.
Several of my good friends get together on Saturday afternoon of the fair and that is a "can't miss" for me.
A staple of my Saturday nights is usually a visit to the Howell cabin on the race track for good music, and I always want to see some of the races before I leave on Sunday.
What are some of your favorite "family traditions" at the Fair?
Sunday lunch has become a big deal at our cabin over the years. At first it was kind of a sendoff for visitors but in recent years it has often been a send off for me as I return back to Georgia. Most years the meal is a collaboration of a few close families joining together for great down home cooking.
Outside of that, I would probably say a tradition that most Fair-goers know so well: porch sitting.
I remember sitting on the swing with my grandmother Idelle Richardson on Saturday mornings watching the people make their way around the flea-market. You can still find me on that swing on Saturday morning of the Fair.
What aspects of the Fair do you hope will never change?
The Neshoba County Fair has always kind of acted as the beginning and end of my calendar year, especially now that the end of the Fair brings about the start of my football season and teaching.
I don't see that changing for me. Overall, I hope that the Fair always remains that little piece of home that so many people have come to love and yet no one can accurately explain to outsiders.