Fallen Iowa Marine, "How-To’s" for the Fair

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One of the interesting things about being married to a musician is that occasionally, 6 guys from an out-of-town band crash in your basement.

Ian helped hook “Elsinore” up with a gig in Des Moines last night – he’s “paying it forward” by giving these young guys a place to sleep other than a stinky band van. ( I found this photo of them on the web)
I had no worries about a house full of loud, partying rock-stars.
It was the SHEPHERD chaos I had to warn them about. From being tackled by kids, to tripping over toys and drumsets, to being awakend by the sound of the hair-dryer and coffee-grinder going at about 3am (right after they all went to bed) ours isn’t the quietest place to get a good night’s sleep.
They didn’t seem to mind. They were all very sweet and I think just grateful to have a real house to stay in. I hear they played well.
Onto some of the news of the day:

Another heartbreaking scene, this time in Ft. Dodge, where friends and family members gathered yesterday to remember Sgt. Jon Bonnell, who went by J.J. He was 22 years old. Loved his friends, family, baseball, and his country. This brings the total number of Iowa deaths in the war on terror to 45. When we get word on funeral arrangements we will pass them along.


The weather is looking iffy for the state fair parade tonight. It starts at 6:15 at the Capitol, rain or shine. Megan says bring a poncho or umbrella – afternoon storms could be strong, and might still be in the picture at that time.

Here is a quick link to the state fair website where you can find info on tickets, hours, entertainment schedules, shuttles, and EVERYTHING else!

I’m also asking all you blog-readers and blog-lurkers to dish out your best advice on really enjoying the fair.
We’re taking the kids to the fair later this week and I could really use some pointers!

How do you plan your day, what do you bring along, how do you keep from spending thousands of dollars on rides and food when you bring your kids along, and what do you do to survive the heat?

Our guest this morning, Lori Chappell with the fair’s marketing department, says the mornings and late afternoons are the best times for the midway and concourse – not quite as busy.

Did you know you can go in the morning, get a hand stamp, and then leave and get back in later?? Might be helpful if you have kids who need to nap, or if you want to save money on food by taking in a meal outside the fairgrounds.

Lori also suggests visiting some of the indoor exhibits in A/C during the heat of the afternoon.

I’m being realistic about my kids’ energy levels: Since they’re still so young, I think we’ll allot just a couple hours to roam the fair before going to see the Nadas play one of their free evening concerts. Any more than that and I’ll have two worn-out, cranky kids and an empty wallet!
I’m looking forward to all your suggestions.
Today I have one question: WHAT DO YOU DO when your child needs an exorcist during a trip to the grocery store? Go to the blog and please let me know.

For the first time ever, I called someone while I was on the air today. Not on purpose. I had borrowed a cell phone from one of our floor crew members, Joe, so I could goof around during a story about texting.
Somehow, it started dialing.
The recipient of the pre-dawn call (at about 5:10am) texted back a very confused message. (If you happen to read this blog – I’m very sorry to have woken you up!)
I won’t go into detail but I think I opened a can of worms for poor Joe! Next time, I’ll use my own phone.

You should have heard Winters belting out Love Shack this morning. Right before the newscast started, he got on a tear. I called for more cowbell. It was that kind of morning.
I also refused Dan’s request to water down his coffee.
I handed him the strong, muddy brew, and told him to take it like a man.
Jon Cahill piped in, “You can’t tell him something like that while he’s powdering his nose.”
Excellent point.
Too bad our favorite target is off the next few days – it helps to have a partner on the news desk to help wake me up! Pat will be back next week – hopefully rested up and ready to go!

Hope you have a great day-


  • Heather R.

    That was nice that you opened up your house Trish. I bet they enjoyed having a nice cool place to sleep in. Minus the thunderstorms!!! Have a good day everyone!

  • WHO#1Fan

    Can I just say…..Please don’t leave Trish!! I don’t think you realize how much you will be truly missed!! I’m sure you are already sick of hearing it, but it is true. It is so refreshing to watch a morning crew with the energy and humor level all of you have!

  • Trisha Shepherd

    You are very sweet. It’s nice to feel appreciated, but trust me, I’m leaving you all in good hands! The show will go on! We have a fantastic team here and I’ll bet they won’t miss a beat. The people I work with are making it very difficult to say goodbye to this place – trust me, I would not make this move unless it were an incredible career opportunity PAIRED WITH a chance to be closer to my family.Thanks for reading!TS

  • Anonymous

    I’m with #1fan I don’t want Trish to leave. Wish there was a way to stop her.But guess we have to let the best move on. Just don’t forget you can always come back home.

  • Stout Family

    I am with all of the others who don’t want Trisha to go….BUMMER!! I love watching a fellow mom on the air in the mroning while I am taking care of my newborn and struglling to stay awake and /or getting my other kiddos up and ready for school! Indianapolis is sooo lucky!Fair tips…with the heat this year we are packing the kids lunch boxes…with drinks (frozen juice boxes to act like ice & to drink as it thaws) and snacks (fruit snacks, trail mix, & a PB & J sandwich). As for nap time…we don’t do that anymore except for the newborn and so we have a double-stroller and we load it up. We do pack extra clothes for everybody and sometimes we head back to the van or to QT for a clothing change and a little break! So far we have avoided the Midway altogether…mucho money…so we take the kids to the horse barn, Hy-Vee Fun Foprest, the older village, the Tiger Show, Petting Zoo, Little Hands farm, check out the campers/ RV, & “ride” the tractors. In the afternoon, we ride the Ye Old Mill and hit the Indoor AC stuff! We do eat a bit…usually corn dogs, mini-donuts…things we can share as a family…it makes the calorie intake a little less for everybody! Hope these tips help!

  • Trisha Shepherd

    What a novel idea – just pretend the midway doesn’t exist! I wonder if we could get away with that..We loved the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit last year (free) The fair folks say they don’t allow outside food or drinks – but come on, they must know people will try!Thanks for all your nice words – I really hope the viewers in Indy are half as loyal!TS

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing Jon’s funny remark about Dan. Love all of you guys’ sense of humor. Too Too Funny!You’ll Get Him Dan! it may not be today,it may not be to tomorrow, But you’ll get him. LOL Wait till he runs out of HAIR GEL. Then you could say something like “I’m sorry What?” LOL-Brenda E

  • Anonymous

    I rode an upside down ride when I was little, probably too little to ride it. I fell out, I was in a cage like car, and I remember my Dad arguing with the ride worker to stop the ride so he could get me out. Dad pushed the guy down the stairs and brought it down himself. I was so scared. Ever since, my parents said we would just go to Adventureland instead of doing the Midway. Something about a ride that can be put up and took down in a matter of a few hours, doesn’t sit well.

  • Anonymous

    I have a child care home in Osceola & we visit the fair every year. The first thing I do is check the schedule online & decide what are the have-to visits & decide what isn’t (taking 10-13 kids can be a little slow moving around) if we run out of time. We start the week before our trip by decorating t-shirts to all match & stand out in a crowd incase we get a wanderer, every group has atleast one-especially @ the Iowa State Fair! That morning we start w/a good breakfast @ child care that we hope sticks w/us. We park south of the fairgrounds in the ‘blank children’s hospital’ lot. Since it is usually around 8, the farrowing display line isn’t very long, then we cruise thru the avenue of breeds, sheep barn & horse barn hitting about an aisle in each barn. Scooping around the west arena we head for the KID FIND station infront of the grand stand for the bracelets I fill out & put my cell phone number in -again in case of getting separated, then we might find the varied industries building for Clifford the big Red dog @ the IPTV booth & try to get a few tatoos from the colleges, or depending on time we might go thru the hall of law & flame for those mini lessons or just run thru the sprinkler infront of the grandstand then we head back out to the park near the parkinglot for our picnic. Coming back in, we go the other direction & go thru the ag building just enough for the butter cow line & then its time for fun & games in the children’s fun forest!! They LOVE the wooden train engine & the big animals they can climb on. After we run thru the sprinkler by the ag building & have snow cones we head home. Along the way we fit in any new exhibits, shows, & potty stops.-good luck! Kim Jackson, Osceola

  • Anonymous

    Be sure to purchase a midway wristband for each of the kids. At $25, it seems expensive, but when you add up the cost for even three rides, it is very reasonable. You have to purchase them by the 8tht Kum & Go but they are worth it- letting the kids go on the spinny bear rides as many times as they want is great.

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