The Illinois State Fair is Calling
Creativity and a good set of lungs are a $250 combination for the first-place winners of the hog- and husband-calling contests at the Illinois State Fair.
Chris Karr of Seymour, in Champaign County, competed for the 21st time, depicting a “dehydrated hog” during the drought. He downplays his special gift, though: “Cattle, hogs, sheep, pets all respond to voice command. So, what you’re going to run into, you say, ‘Well, we’re calling the hog.’ But a lot of times, you can call an animal, and they’ll recognize that voice.”
In the husband-calling competition, Julie Willeford of Nilwood, in Macoupin County, is a repeat winner. “I’m not able to be embarrassed, I have a loud set of lungs, and I can think on the quick.” She says her husband, though, does not always cooperate. “Most often, I have to go to him, and the voice gets louder and louder.” At least though, she says, as a retiree, hubby no longer has to endure co-workers’ jokes about being married to a champion husband-caller.