Where were you in 1928? Did you even exist then? Probably not. Herman Schaekel did, though, and that’s when he first visited the Indiana State Fair. He hasn’t missed one since.
Herman is the reason there is an Indiana State Fair. A former 4-H’er who first experienced the fair as a young boy, he started showing his Berkshire hogs in 1932 and fell in love with the entire experience. Even after his 4-H days were done, he started getting his four children involved. They all showed swine at the fair as well.
That’s what the fair is all about – providing wonderful childhood memories that people eventually want to pass down to the next generation. Herman worked most of his life as an electrician for the railroad company while also running an 80-acre hog and dairy cow operation.
Now nearly 90, he still loves coming out to the fair and taking a tour through the Swine Barn. He’s spent a good part of his life here, never living farther than 20 miles from the State Fairgrounds … and that’s been just fine with him.
Hear some of Herman’s insights and memories in this brief interview. You’ll also hear from his granddaughter, Jenny, who took a long time to get used to the pervasive smell of hanging out in the hog barn, but wouldn’t change it for the world.
Submitted by Andy Klotz