County Road 12 - Last Fair for Ashmores

There are two people who are responsible for what you see out here year after year. Minuard and Hazel Ashmore have been involved with the fair for forty years and will be retiring when the fair closes. On this weeks edition of County Road 12, a tribute to the Ashmores and what they have meant to the Alabama National Fair.

They've walked the midway for more than four decades. "Hey, how you doing?" Never meeting a stranger. "We're so glad to have you here." Storing away memories for the day nobody wanted to think about. "It's a real thrill to be a part of something that touches every facet of the community." says Minuard Ashmore, "But deep down inside, it's tough." Hazel and Minuard Ashmore will retire after this fair. "It's exciting, rewarding and sad too."

There's is a love story that practically started at the fair. "We did attend the second fair. We have a dish that I won and gave to Hazel before we were married. The dish was an omen of things to come, well apparently so it's a treasure at our house now." Before he won her that dish, he did play a little hard to get. "We met at church and actually I sat on my song book in the choir so I could look on his song book because I thought he was pretty nice looking and I couldn't get him to notice me any other way so we shared a song book" 48 years later, they are still together in everything they do. Including retirement where they will be closer to family. "Rainbow City in Gadsden on the lake and it will be16 miles from their pier to our pier."

So they'll do this one last time. "Thank you to everybody for a wonderful 40 years." Making sure this fair is better than all the rest and at the end of the year, pack up their tent and head towards retirement. Leaving their legacy along the midway that has been sort of a home for the last forty years. Wishing them all the best, Debbie Williams and Photojournalist Kevin Fichtner, somewhere out along County Road 12.