News from the Bill Riley Talent Search

Bill Riley Talent Search Memories From the Shecklers

Heather Torpy - Tuesday, September 25, 2018

We love the Bill Riley Talent Search memories people are sending in. The first one we are sharing is from Ellen Chabot Sheckler. 

“I included one of our family’s favorite Iowa State Fair photos. It  was taken with friends when the kids were little at their first fair and BRTS competition. Over the years we always referred to the "fair photo" that we just caught the kids heading off hand in hand. At the last fair, 2017, after Harrison competed, the 3 kids, took another photo, kind of like it, but all grown up. 

This is the sentiment as the fair ends that we feel: In EB White's "Charlotte's Web" the fair is the culmination of the summer and the introduction to change. Likewise, the fair marks the end of summer for us. Everyone is packed, off, and pursuing what they are meant to be. So this fair photo, first posted by Sloan Neuzil, is a favorite that exemplifies all the fun and magic of summer and friendships and how quickly time passes. (In this case, 13 years between photos.) God Bless all the students heading back to school. Like Wilbur, " be terrific, be radiant, be humble and be somebody to someone else."

We have great memories of the fair. Even though I grew up in Des Moines, I was never at the fair until we went to BRTS.  Over the 13 years span of Harrison and Emma competing, I went to the fair 30 times.”

If you would like to share your memories and photos please email

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