Today the show opened. The crowd appeared to be the usual big first-day number, though we didn't go through our usual number of give-aways--people may have come only in the morning as the threatened rain looked more likely in the afternoon. Talked to lots of people with questions about almost anything geological/hydrological, with maps thrown in. "What makes a pond not hold water?" "What will the drilling of wells for each of 30 houses in a new subdivision near me do to my well?" "Is there any chance the atomic test in North Korea set off the Hawaii earthquake?" "Where does the water come from to replenish the aquifer my well's in?" "Where can I find a 1915 topographic map of an area near me?"
Favorite tidbit from someone at the booth, after taking two of our wooden pencils: "You know what I do with these? When I go bream fishing--you know what a bream is, right?--and when one of 'em swallows the hook and won't let go, you stick one of these pencils down its throat, grab the line and the pencil together and twirl it around. That hook will come right out of there." Glad to know those USGS pencils are...versatile.
Fun event of the afternoon was the milk off: the Agricultural Commissioners of Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee in a competitive cow-milking contest. Each man milked one cow for two minutes, then they switched cows and milked another two minutes, then switched again to whichever cow they hadn't yet milked for the final two minutes. Tennessee won by a mile--Tommy Irvin (who's been the Ga. Ag. Commissioner forever--he said he last milked a cow in 1956) had his bucket kicked and then the cow stepped in the bucket, both events resulting in loss of milk. I think the Alabama man also had a spill from his bucket, but the Tennessee guy was also really good at it.