MNSF #118. Ernest Hemingway’s Daughter Smokes Near the Tractors


My day at the Minnesota State Fair in 2008 would become my best day of sightings ever, but after an extremely quiet first hour, it would have been hard to convince me of that at 10 a.m. that morning.  Finally, this country cutie changed the course of the day by being the day’s first memorable sightings….

Seems like most years, I score a handful of quality sightings almost immediately after arriving and then go through a couple slow hours.  But this year, there was a troubling dearth of sightings from the get-go, and I began to lament over the fact that most of the smokers I was seeing were middle-aged. After nearly an hour stuck at one sighting, I journeyed to the sparse but sometimes rewarding north side of the fairgrounds where I would stumble upon the second sighting of the day. As I walked down the street, I noticed a modestly attractive 16-17ish brunette with shoulder-length hair standing still on a corner. I made my way her direction and, after such an extended period of nonexistent sightings, was actually surprised to discover a cigarette in her hand.

The lack of crowd proved challenging as far as watching this sighting, particularly when a large, bearded middle-aged man emerged and stood next to her. I’m guessing the son-of-Ernest-Hemingway-lookalike was the girl’s father, and it was particularly impressive to see him without a cigarette. I watched from a comfortable distance and don’t think I was spotted as the girl dragged from her all-white. She wasn’t a bombshell beauty, but had a certain country girl cuteness to her that was very endearing. The father and daughter would proceed northward down the block of “Machinery Hill” when the sighting hit its peak. The girl took a nice puff from her cigarette and just as an elderly couple passed from the other direction, she inadvertently exhaled a stream of smoke that slapped the guy right in the face. He then proceeded to wave his hand in front of his face as if to expunge the smoky odor, then stuck his nose up as he griped to his wife, “Smoking!” I was so proud of this little cutie.

From there, she and her dad would wander up to look at some snow removal equipment for sale and I watched her stomp out the cigarette from a distance and the opportunity never arose to check out the brand vis a vis her discarded butt. I walked away pleased as punch that I had at least scored one quality sighting for the day. This day and age, every quality sighting one scores has to be looked upon as something of a victory, but little did I know this was the first snowflake in what would become an avalanche of sightings bliss that day.

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