Sunday, 17 September 2017

09:00 – It was 53.4F (12C) when I took Colin out at 0650, partly cloudy.

Barbara and I were in downtown Sparta yesterday from mid-morning through mid-afternoon. She was volunteering at the historical society museum while I helped man a booth for the Sparta Amateur Radio Club. That was one of a hundred or so booths set up for the annual Mountain Heritage Festival. They closed off the streets downtown, and there were probably a couple thousand people wandering around over the course of the day.

One thing that struck me immediately was the racial makeup of the crowd. I actually started counting people as they passed the booth, but gave up when I got to five hundred. In that first 500, there were 497 white people and only three non-whites, an Hispanic couple and their child. The rest of the day, I spotted five more Hispanics, a group of teenage age boys together, and a total of five blacks, two couples and one child.

The other notable thing was people’s weights. I know we’re supposed to have an obesity “epidemic” in this country, but in all the hundreds and hundreds of people I saw, I noticed only one that I’d consider morbidly obese, a handful that I’d describe as “fat”, and maybe 20 more that I’d describe as “chunky” or “chubby”. The rest were of normal weight, ranging from many who were actually very thin, what I’d call underweight, through some middle-aged and older people who had slight beer bellies. But a very, very high percentage of the people I saw appeared to be in a normal weight range.