A new bench in loving memory of Jim Gleason, the former manager/secretary of the Steele County Free Fair, has appeared outside the fair office. Gleason, who died after a brief battle with brain cancer in April, has been missed by many at the fair this week, but possibly missed the most by his good friend and current Fair Manager Scott Kozelka.
“Whenever I am having a bad day, I listen to his voicemail,” Kozelka said as he rested on Gleason’s bench. “I miss him dearly.”
After the end of the 2018 fair, Gleason left Kozelka a message that praised the remarkable job the new manager had done for his first fair. He affectionately called Kozelka “buddy” and reminded his friend that he loved him.
“He’s here with us,” Kozelka asserted with a smile.