Fair to All



Fair is a funny word. It can mean so many things.

County Fair
Fair haired boy and my fair lady
Fair ‘n square
Fair weather
Fair game
Hey Ma! That ain’t fair…
Nothing’s fair. Get over it!

The business of finding new ways to use that well known word can go on for a fairly long time. Fair statement? I guess so.

The English language is funny that way. Some would even say English is unfair to people who try to learn it. The same word can have so many meanings. We only know which one is right by how it is used. That’s one of the problems in trying to build a computer with Artificial Intelligence.
I asked my smart phone, “What is fair?”

It said, “In accordance with the rules or standards, legitimate.” And again, “Fair is unbiased, just, reasonable.” Then I asked, “What is a fair?” I got the same answer. I asked again and got, “World’s Fair. An industrial exhibition of the industrial nations…etc.”

The artificial intelligence of a smart phone simply isn’t up to the task. I only asked Google, though. Try Cortana or Siri and see what happens.

So this week, when the Jamestown Gazette – and our CAP Intern, Emily Wynn – invite you on page 1 of this edition to “Come to the Fair,” please understand we are not inviting you to the “Legitimate Standards,” or the “Unbiased…something.”

We are inviting you to a Party! A bunch of parties. Food, Fun, Rides, Exhibitions and Competitions.

County Fairs are some of the oldest crowd-pleasing events in the United States. In fact counties across the country continue to compete for the title “Oldest County Fair in the Nation.”

The Steuben County Fair in New York’s Finger Lakes region claims to be 197 years old, the Three County Fair in Northampton Mass says it’s been in operation since 1817 and the Knox County Fair in Bicknell IN stakes its claim at 207 years old.

But regardless of which is the fairest accounting, County Fairs are a wonderful way to spend a long and sunny summer day with friends and family, whether you are in Chautauqua, Warren or Cattaraugus Counties where you can always find a Jamestown Gazette on a news stand. Enjoy the read and fair-thee well.

Walt Pickut
The Jamestown Gazette

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.