By Scott Halasz
XENIA — Just call Missy Kelleher the ultimate optimist.
Regardless of the situation, the reigning Greene County Fair queen tackles it with gusto … and a smile.
“It’s going to be a bad time if you have a bad attitude,” she said.
That explains why the 20-year-old Ohio State University student hasn’t let a walking boot and crutch keep her from enjoying the final weeks of her queenship. She claims to have been fighting a bear in Auglaize County, but when she stopped giggling she admitted to falling down stairs while going after some fresh brownies.
However it happened, the freak injury proved to be no major barrier for the Spring Valley resident.
“I’m not going to let a broken fibula slow me down,” she said.
In fact, the cracked bone has made Kelleher appreciate her fellow 4-H members more as she travels around to the various county fairs, which are in full swing in the Miami Valley.
“They’ve been so accommodating,” she said. “They’re beyond kind. More people are willing to walk around and go at my pace.”
That’s probably a good thing since she’s attended five fairs after her brownie incident a couple weeks ago: Perry, Franklin, Warren, Fayette and Clark. The timing wasn’t great, but Kelleher shrugged it off.
“It was my only week to really take it in,” she said. “I was like, you know what, I’m not going to let it stop me.”
In all, Kelleher has attended approximately 10 other Ohio county fairs. It’s no real secret which one she has enjoyed the most.
“Ours is the best, of course,” Kelleher said with a smile and laugh. “We’re so exact where people are. We all communicate. We’re all effective.”
Credit the fair organizers and 4-H advisors for that. And Kelleher credits Clover Valley advisor Pat Zehring for a lot of her success.
“That’s been something that’s stood out to me,” Kelleher said.
Another bright spot of being queen is representing 4-H at places like the Spring Valley Potato Festival and in various other festivals and parades.
“I love that,” Kelleher said.
Her reign will end Sunday when the new queen is crowned. But in perhaps one last act of “queening,” Kelleher offered some advice to potential royalty.
“Never give up if you don’t win the first time,” she said. “Don’t get discouraged.”
She also told her 4-H brethren to “have a good attitude” and work “super hard.”
“Be optimistic,” she said. “Know your passion. Let something drive you to be there.”
Just be careful when going for the brownies.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.