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We want to add to our list of state fair oddities. Remember, last week we saw the story of the Krispy Kreme bacon/cheeseburger — a burger inside a “bun” of two KK doughnuts. Today, we have the sad case of Bobo.
Lots of state fairs have characters who greet fairgoers. Kentucky’s giant Freddy Farm Bureau would “talk” to kids as they came into the fairgrounds. Texas has, of course, Big Tex. Bobo the clown greets people coming into the Iowa fair, daring them to pay $3 to try to dunk him by pitching baseballs at a target. Bobo’s schtick was to make fun of fairgoers, taunt them and then release a loud cackle.
Unfortunately, Bobo this year got carried away. “Fairgoers complained that Bobo, or his equally abusive alter-ego, Snaps the Clown, had resorted to racial slurs, using the N-word in reference to a black child and directing epithets at a Hispanic family,” reports Clark Kauffman in the Des Moines Register. Bobo denied it all, but fair officials have relieved the clown of his duties.
• The Austin (TX) American-Statesman has a great story about J.W. Breeden, a 24-year-old kid from Smithville who has started a broadband business in small towns in Central Texas. His LiveAir Networks provides wireless broadband to three towns and a good bit of acreage in between from microwave transmitters attached mostly to water towers. So far, Breeden has invested just under $1 million in his fast-expanding business.
Does Breeden feel limited by his rural surroundings? No way. “The world is rural,” he said. “I can go anywhere the business demand is, and I can expand for a lower cost per mile.”
This is also the story of the smart kid who came home. He started forming his business idea as a DECA student at Smithville High School. He began building it out while a student at the University of Texas. He graduated and kept right on working on LiveAir from a spare room in his parents’ house outside of Smithville. “He has no desire to go big city,” said Stewart Burns, his high school DECA teacher. “He feels he can sit in his home and run the world.”