• As I was walking through the children’s playground area, I heard who I assume was a grandmother say to her husband, “quick that's a perfect photo op,” while pointing to two small children playing nearby. The nice but weary gentleman replied with a slight hint of exasperation in his voice, “they can’t all be perfect photo ops.” — Reporter Hope Lecchi

• There isn’t a lot of pomp and circumstance that comes with the Missouri State Fair. It’s lots of food vendors, carnival workers asking you to play a game, and livestock everywhere. There are two formal aspects, the opening ceremony and the Governor’s Ham Breakfast, which may be unexpected for the average visitor. As I listened to state officials and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe give their speeches on Opening Day, I couldn’t help but smile every time I saw a family walk out of the Agriculture Building and look confused as to why there was a stage in the middle of the street. More than once I saw people trying to sneak around the stage (usually while holding a corndog), then realizing something important was going on. — Editor Nicole Cooke

• One of my favorite things to do at the fair is watching how people get from point A to point B. Some walk, others run, some choose to ride the tram. I still think my all-time favorites are the people who drive golf carts. To see how they move in and out of the path of pedestrians and other vehicles truly is an art form worthy of the drivers at any NASCAR race. Thursday as I was eating lunch I took note of another mode of transportation: the baby-stroller. I saw seven during the 15 minutes I took to eat my lunch. Only two were used to help toddlers and babies move from point A to B — the rest were loaded with fair giveaways, stuffed animals and assorted purses and bags. — Reporter Hope Lecchi  

• One of my favorite features on the Missouri State Fairgrounds is artist Linda Hoover’s “American Gothic”-themed mural on the Fine Arts Building. When she created it in 2012, it stirred some negative reactions due to the graffiti style. I feared it would be whitewashed at the end of that fair, but thankfully it’s still on display. — Columnist Bob Satnan

• Normally I’m annoyed, like most people, when I get stuck behind slow walkers. However, I didn’t mind a leisurely stroll Thursday afternoon as I headed back to the media parking lot since I had some spare time. I must have gotten a little too close to the older couple walking in front of me because the man turned around, pulled his female companion to the side and said while laughing, “I’m sure you’re trying to pass us slow folks. Go ahead.” I returned the laugh and said I appreciated the gesture. It’s all about situational awareness when you’re a fairgoer on crowded walkways, something the guy who almost ran into me while I was taking a photo 20 minutes earlier definitely did not have. — Editor Nicole Cooke

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