MIAMI COUNTY — For more than 60 years, sisters Amy Eidemiller, 90, and Doris Beeson, 97, have heard the screen door clang and clack as hungry fair-goers entered and exited the Cove Springs Grange Kitchen at the Miami County Fair.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” said Beeson with a laugh. “We’ll do anything that needs to be done.”
Behind the deli cooler, past the stainless steel vats filled with Cove Springs Grange specials, Eidemiller and Beeson keep the kitchen running like clockwork throughout the fair week each and every year.
“I turned 90 in January,” Eidemiller shared, as Beeson chimed in that she turned 97 in June.
“For us it’s always been ‘Oh! We got to get up early and get in here’ because we usually start the breakfast in the morning,” Eidemiller said.
“They won’t let me come in as early as she does anymore,” Beeson replied with a laugh.
The sisters have served in the Grange Fair Kitchen with multiple generations of their families over the years. Eidemiller remembers working in the fair grange kitchen before her own children were born.
“When they had the tent out here, we worked in there so I don’t know what year that was … I don’t keep track of the years too much,” Eidemiller said. “When my girls were little, we all came in here together and worked together. They helped with the breakfast and whatever you could do.”
Beeson said she enjoys coming to the county fair each year to see the people she doesn’t see but at the fair grange kitchen.
“The people that you see from year-to-year that you don’t see every day and it’s kind of nice to catch up on the families,” said Beeson with a chuckle. “It’s interesting too, because, a lot of people you don’t see until the next year coming through the line.”
Beeson keeps the lemonade supply flowing these days, but the sisters shared that they’ll do any job that needs attention at the grange kitchen.
“You have to be a jack-of-all-trades,” Beeson said.
“If they need us to help break bread for the chicken bake, we’ll do that,” Eidemiller said.
Eidemiller said one time she attended a funeral in Covington and a woman recognized her from all her years of service at the Cove Springs Grange Kitchen.
“I’m in the line and the woman goes ‘Oh! There’s the egg lady,’” she said. “I used to fry the eggs for breakfast when we used to fry them to order.”
Doris shared how she married her late husband Warren at a Grange meeting. They were married for 68 years before his passing in 2008.
In fairs past and present, the sisters recruited their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to assist with the grange meals in between livestock shows and 4-H project reviews.
“The fellowship I think is the main part and the suppers we have is why we have always enjoyed it,” Eidemiller said.
And they’ll continue to serve up both fellowship and home-style meals for fair folks to enjoy for many fairs to come.
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