National Geographic : 1980 Jun
IDS RUN FREE and safe at the fair, what with traffic mostly pedestrian, crime unknown, every door open, and every grown-up a friend. One grown-up has proven such a special friend that last year the youngsters decided to run him for president, as the sign proclaims (below). A. J. Yates, Jr., a retired Jackson businessman who has missed only two fairs since 1905, has for years given parties for all of the fair's children who care to come. Here at A. J.'s cabin on Founders' Square, where he usually dispenses candy, cookies, soft drinks, and balloons, the kids give him a party. In answer to the query, "You're running A. J. for president of what?" the enthusiastic answer came, "President of Everything." After a rainstorm turned the racetrack into a red quagmire, a band of boys become the happiest warriors. One, 11 year-old Michael Partridge (left), demonstrates a diabolical fighting style that frightens 2-year-old Julia Barrett (right)not at all.