New Stanton's Graydon Long a fixture at Westmoreland Fair
Many visitors to the Westmoreland Fair have exchanged a word or two over the years with fair board director Graydon Long, who frequently can be found sitting on the bench near the fair office, keeping an eye on the comings and goings.
The Westmoreland Fair celebrated its 60th year as an educational and entertainment event this year, and Long, 85, of New Stanton, has been with it since its inception, working with the fair for all of those years and serving on the board for 57.
“There isn't anything that goes on that he doesn't know about,” Westmoreland Fair board president Craig Lash said. “He knows more about these grounds than anyone else.”
Long became involved with the fair when several local farmers and county members decided to try a large county wide agricultural event.
“The first couple years the fair was held at Idlewild Park,” Long said, adding that a large farm area in Mt. Pleasant Township was acquired to host the annual event. “The first year here there was a little barn with all the exhibits, then a big tent for all the commercial projects. We hooked a hay wagon to a tractor to take people from one to the other.”
Long said that he has since enjoyed watching the fair expand, adding more buildings and events.
“It's grown a lot, and I like to see that,” Long said.
And the fair has become generational for the family, as three generations are now actively part of it.
Two of Long's four children have followed in his footsteps, with son Phil Long of New Alexandria and daughter Deborah Long of New Stanton still being active members of the fair.
Phil's two daughters Erin, 13, and Jennifer, 10, are involved with 4-H, both showing steer annually with aunt Deborah helping the girls with their projects.
Phil and Deborah were active in 4-H when they were growing up on the family farm and feel that the program is good for youth to be involved in.
“4-H teaches them responsibility and leadership skills, and that's important,” Deborah Long said.
Graydon Long said that over the decades, he has been involved in many aspects of the fair, and for many years was in charge of the electrical work, but now leaves all that to the professionals.
“Years ago, most of the work done around here was done by volunteers,” Phil Long said. “All of that has pretty much changed.”
Graydon Long said he has enjoyed watching the many aspects of the annual event over the years and said that he thinks that people enjoy the fair for different reasons.
“I think that some people come for the entertainment and some people come for the animals,” Long said. “But if they come for the entertainment they end up enjoying the animals, and if they come for the animals they like the entertainment.”
Lash said that Long has been an impressive fixture at the fair, and he remembers Long's strict nature from when he himself was a child at the fair.
“We used to have water battles here, and that was when there wasn't any running water. It was brought in,” Lash said of his 4-H days at the fair. “We'd always look around to see where Graydon was. He was the enforcer.”
Joking and sharing a laugh is common among the employees and directors at the fair, but on a more serious note, Lash said that Long has been a vital part of the annual agricultural event.
“We'd be lost up here without him,” Lash said. “He knows everyone, and he knows everything. He knows where everything is, and he knows where everything has been.”
Long said that he plans to say an active part of the fair for as long as he is able.
“I've enjoyed my time here,” Long said. “It's been a lot of work, but I have enjoyed it.”
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fast-growing Americans for Prosperity opens location in Greensburg
- Previously convicted of embezzlement, Mt. Pleasant postal worker accused of mail theft
- Police claim woman stabbed husband at their Jeannette business
- Westmoreland County Courthouse, annex roofs will be given $665K fix
- Ligonier Township planners offer suggested changes to zoning proposal
- Prosecutors want texts back in Pinkney trial
- Court in the Classroom program provides insight for Norwin High School students
- Officials plan software upgrade to Westmoreland County emergency dispatching system
- $7.6M buyout at Hempfield prison site clouds sale
- Unity lawyer to vie for Westmoreland County judgeship
- Westmoreland County Park Police: Man tried to enter courthouse with gun