Fair People: Ethel Turner, Champlain Valley Fair

09/08/05 12:00AM By Mitch Wertlieb
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(Host) Fair people Some play a starring role in agriculture exhibits, booths featuring games of chance, or rides designed to thrill young and old alike.

Others work behind the scenes, sometimes in very unusual jobs. Such is the case with a woman we talked with this year at the Champlain Valley Fair.

Our series on "Fair People" continues

(Turner) "I'm Ethel Turner. I'm 73 years-old and I'm from Richmond, Virginia. I work in the rest room. I clean my potties, I keep my potties clean at all times, morning noon and night.

All day long I talk, everybody come in my bathroom, Hello sweetie, hello darling, come on baby.' All day long, that's me. I love all my people. Without my people I'm no good, I gotta have people all the time. I'm a people person, and I love everybody. All my little children - they come from school, they gonna come to see me. And I have a lot of little seniors come in and I help them. I help my children, all my little chickadees. I have a lot of children.

And I have a lot of friends up here. They come to the fair just to see if I'm still alive, y'know, if she's back again this year. I say I'm back again girls, you don't have to worry, we got a clean potty.' I love my potties to be clean, that's the most important of working this rest room. I been working here I made host of the day here a few years ago.

No, it's not easy, I got some very sloppy ladies sometimes. Some are just wonderful, and some of my ladies are just so very careless -- that's what I should say, they're very careless. The man's is cleaner than the woman's any time, 'cause I worked the man's and the woman's bathroom. I mean they zig zag but that's nothing -- don't laugh, it's not funny. But the mens are much cleaner than the ladies.

The children, they don't make no mess, no the children. It's the grown-ups we got to watch all the time. You got to go behind them all day long because they just careless. Ladies always in a hurry, I don't know where they going. They going to the potty they go so fast, the doors are closing, they don't around and look at me. They don't stop, the same way they drive, the same way.

Believe it or not, Vermont, the Champlain Valley Fair, is one of the nicest fairs that I work, and I worked quite a few. I worked Tampa State Fair, I worked the strawberry festival up here, I worked Hamburg -- that's where I left: Erie County Fair and I was glad to get to Vermont. It's like an old home week.

I have some girls come every night, they go fishing, they done brought me fish, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers - those are my adopted daughters. I don't know, some of them are as old as me. I give them a good time and a clean potty.

Good day's work. Come in the morning, I'm grinning. When I leave at night, I'm still grinning."

(Laughter fades out)

(Host) Ethel Turner keeps the women's lavatories clean at the Champlain Valley Fair.

Champlain Valley Fair
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