People bring their memories to the fair-memories of their childhood and past. The best time at the fair is when it first opens at six in the morning. That's when it's clean and fresh, and the weather is cool, and the space is your own. The beginning of the fair every year is full of hope, and people in Minnesota display their hope, demonstrating their skills for all the state to view. The fair's is an atmosphere of affirmation, one's mere presence a validation-I belong here, in this lake-besparkled tundra. There is a niche for home canning at the fair, in the Creative Activities Building. Jane, another born-in-Minnesota friend, told me about it. Her husband made cucumber pickles and entered them for judging, occasionally. And I thought, "Why not?"