Bluebonnet at the State Fair of Texas

Bluebonnet at the State Fair of Texas

Bluebonnet at the State Fair of Texas

Today is opening day of the State Fair of Texas!  MBC and I are recalling my adventures at the State Fair, chronicled in the third book of the Bluebonnet Armadillo Adventure series, published in 1985 by Eakin Press, with Pat Binder providing the illustrations.

MBC had attended several state fairs by the time she wrote this book, but her research was greatly aided by State Fair staff Wayne H. Gallagher, Nancy Wiley and Elizabeth Peabody. She was most grateful to good friend Karen Matney Brown for helping her make those connections.

MBC’s parents had a neighbor at that time, a young girl named Sara Grein. Sara suggested the name “Armadilly” which MBC gratefully used in the book.  Aunt Armadilly lives at the State Fair of Texas and of course, she’s the one I was going to visit.  Fortunately, Aunt Armadilly used her creative imagination to give me a tour of the fair!

In her research about armadillos, MBC discovered that armadillos and rabbits sometimes share a burrow.  That’s why she created my new friend, Joe Bob Bunny.  Since the livestock show also includes a rabbit competition, Joe Bob comes from East Texas to compete. (MBC actually has an East Texas cousin named “Joe Bob.”)

And once again, MBC’s mother-in-law, Dede Casad, suggested that Big Tex help point Bluebonnet and Joe Bob in the right direction when they get lost making their rounds at the fair. The original Big Tex is also depicted on the cover of the book.

As for the famous football scene in the Cotton Bowl, when I’m mistaken for the football during the Texas-OU game, MBC’s brothers were glad to serve as “consultants” on how I helped the Texas Longhorns score a touchdown.  (MBC comes from a family of football fans; her three brothers all played football in high school.  Two of them played for a national championship team in college.)

So, as is usually the case, writing a book is a team effort!  MBC is grateful to all who contributed to this tale of the State Fair, which continues to provide information and amusement to fairgoers. Originally published in hardback, the book is now available in paperback through Pelican Publishing Company.

Today is opening day of the State Fair of Texas!  Let’s all go to the fair, and as Big Tex says:  “Have a good time at the State Fair of Texas!”

Bluebonnet Armadillo