Liberal Every year, people young and old receive ribbons in a numerous variety of contests from sports to 4-H to music to fairs and everything in between.
A Marquette man, who has now reached 70, has been collecting the prizes since his childhood, and Darell Naegele expects to collect his 1,000th ribbon within the next three years.
Naegele recently exhibited some antiques and collectibles at Seward County Five State Fair, and he took home 40 ribbons — six white, 10 red, 20 blue and four purple — for his work.
Naegele received the first of what is now 891 ribbons during his days in elementary school in 1953 at a track event, and the ribbons have continued to flow since then, including later in his days in secondary education.
“In high school, I joined
4-H and received quite a number of ribbons through the years,” he said.
Naegele went on to teach school for 18 years and later went into piano technology. Now in retirement, he still tunes pianos. He said what started as a learning experience as a 4-H student and through his work as a teacher and 4-H worker became a sideline hobby for him.
“It kind of went full circle from being a 4-H student to a leader to a teacher to a judge and back to personal exhibits for myself,” he said.
Naegele said he has received his ribbons in nine counties in two states.
“With all manner of antiques from railroad items to glassware,” he said. “With 4-H, I worked a lot with exhibits for students and teaching them how to work with all manner of things.”
Naegele has also been a
4-H camp counselor throughout Kansas, including at the Southwest 4-H Camp in Dodge City and Rock Springs Ranch in Junction City.
As he entered the adult side of 4-H as a leader, Naegele continued to enter contests with the idea of helping the youth understand what it took to win.
He also went into judging, helping to determine the outcome of more than 82 4-H and music contests in 22 counties across the state, primarily in central and western Kansas.
Naegele said prior to entering the Seward County fair, he was planning to retire, but already having 851 ribbons from festivals, fairs and expositions, he was encouraged to continue to try to reach the millennium mark.